Atlantic Notes: Fizdale, Porzingis, Eisley, Stevens

David Fizdale becoming the Knicks’ head coach means he will need to cultivate a strong relationship with the team’s Latvian All-Star, Kristaps Porzingis. While Porzingis is recovering from a torn ACL, and is not expected till Christmas at the earliest, he will nonetheless be the key piece the Knicks will build around.

Speaking to reporters, including Marc Berman of the New York Post, from the draft combine in Chicago, Fizdale said he plans on visiting Porzingis multiple times in his native Latvia. The former Grizzlies coach added that he hopes to establish a solid relationship with the former Skills Champion.

“Multiple times maybe over the course of the summer. I want him to feel something different,” Fizdale said. “I want him to feel something that when he comes back here, it’s going to be special for him. He’s walking back into a culture and environment that’s set up for winning. That’s my biggest goal this summer, is to really bond with him and connect with him and get insight from him.”

Check out more Atlantic Division notes:
  • In a separate story, Berman notes that assistant coach Howard Eisley, who is in Chicago representing the Knicks, is likely to be retained as part of Fizdale’s staff. We noted last week that Eisley may be one of the few coaches from ex-head coach Jeff Hornacek’s staff to be retained. Also, Nick Van Exel, who was rumored to be New York-bound, will remain with the Grizzlies.
  • Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is highly regarded around the league, especially by his players and front office. Nick Schwartz of USA TODAY Sports examines whether or not Stevens may be getting too much credit, thus discounting the effort of the players and organization for the Celtics’ success.
  • Stevens’ coaching and the front office aside, the players’ performance on the court, especially in the midst of numerous injuries, has catapulted the Celtics to the brink of the NBA Finals. A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston examines the biggest winners during the Celtics’ improbable run.
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6 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Fizdale, Porzingis, Eisley, Stevens

  1. the dude

    Tom Ziller still thinks Lebron lost to a mirror or something. Won’t even acknowledge the Cs

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  2. Bubba

    How many times do we have to hear “Fizdale is going to meet Porzingis”. Enough already.

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  3. yoyo137

    I don’t really like all this speculation that Brad Stevens is getting too much credit considering he already said himself that he gets too much credit lol. Like I’d think it’s answered and over after that. And he didn’t win coach of the year despite losing Kyrie and Gordon Hayward but he’s always going to downplay his impact and give credit to his players. That’s what a good coach does. It’s kind of weird to discuss whether a coach is getting too much credit when they don’t even want any.

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  4. Dionis

    Feels like Fizdale is more excited about meeting Porzingis than the other way around. Clearly Fizdale wants to prove he could get along with his franchise player but the Knicks have to be smart here and not look for any quick fixes. Draft Mikal Bridges and development Frank and Mikal all season.

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  5. cesc

    The question for Fizdale & Knicks should be. Will KP6 ever play at the level he did before the injury? I am afraid this might be another case like Ralph Sampson or Yao Ming. I really hope not, but…

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  6. Poundsy24

    Well said. Who cares where the credit goes if they keep shocking everybody. He’s building a selfless culture and I hope that they can stand true to that moving forward.

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