David Fizdale Agrees To Become Knicks Head Coach

David Fizdale has agreed to a deal to become the Knicks’ new head coach, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Fizdale will sign a four-year deal with New York, Wojnarowski adds.

Fizdale was a popular head coaching candidate this spring, as the Magic, Hawks, Suns, and Hornets interviewed him for their vacancies. As it turns out, Fizdale recently turned down an offer from Phoenix to become the Suns’ head coach because he wanted the Knicks’ job, per ESPN’s Marc J. Spears.

The Knicks fired Jeff Hornacek at the end of the regular season, ending his two-year stint as head coach. Despite having another year left on his deal, Hornacek was the odd man out as the team’s new regime of president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry rebuild the franchise.

We relayed yesterday that Fizdale had gained serious traction to become the Knicks’ next head coach. Fizdale was among 11 candidates that New York considered throughout the process. Former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, and former Warriors coach and analyst Mark Jackson were reportedly finalists.

Fizdale will become the Knicks’ 11th head coach since the 2001/02 campaign, ESPN’s Ian Begley notes. New York is seeking stability in the role and the organization hopes the 43-year-old Fizdale can provide it. As part of his new job, Fizdale is expected to travel to Latvia soon to meet with Kristaps Porzingis, Wojnarowkski noted.

Fizdale coached the Grizzlies to a 43-39 record during the 2016/17 campaign, but the team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Fizdale was relieved of his duties 19 games into this season as Memphis struggled to win while the head coach’s relationship with All-Star Marc Gasol reportedly deteriorated.

Before he joined the Grizzlies, Fizdale served as an assistant coach with the Warriors, Hawks, and Heat. He was part of the Heat organization for eight seasons, helping the team reach four NBA Finals, winning two of them. Despite his issues with Gasol in Memphis, Fizdale had been endorsed by several of his former players, including future Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade.

“He’s a phenomenal coach — everyone has seen that in the job he was able to do in Memphis [last season],’’ Wade said. “I definitely think his name will be in the running for a lot of jobs. He’s going to bring to a team his work ethic, a great offensive-minded coach, but has defensive principles from Miami [president] Pat Riley has installed in every coach that’s come here.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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14 thoughts on “David Fizdale Agrees To Become Knicks Head Coach

  1. Reflect

    Would have preferred budenholzer. Also, I have no idea why they gave him a 4 year deal.

    But still a solid hire. They could have done a lot worse.

    • padam

      Agreed. As for the 4 year deal, I guess they had to be competitive in order to procure his services vs. other interested teams.

    • MZ311

      Because they have to stop firing coaches every two years. They need stability. They’ve had 11 coaches since 2001.

  2. Whatever one thinks of Mills and Perry, they’ll be here for awhile, and the HC has to be on the same page with them. Hopefully, that’s why he was their choice. I don’t think JH was a bad HC, but the circumstances kind of doomed him into mostly reacting to the front office versus working with them. This guy’s only 43, which hopefully means he’s hungry, yet has the time to be patient, and can grow with the team. Stability would be an asset.

  3. formerlyz

    As a fan of him and as a Heat fan, I was hoping he’d end up in Milwaukee. I thought that would have been a great fit. I think he more than deserves this opportunity. I thought David Blatt or Mike budenholzer would have also been a good hire for the Knicks, but it should be interesting to see him get a chance to develop Ntilikina, Mudiay, who ever they draft this year (hopefully Mikal Bridges for them), Hardaway, and even Porzingis will benefit in my opinion, as Fizdale did a lot of work with Chris Bosh in Miami. Good luck to him, and this has just made those Miami Heat-New York Knicks games a lot more interesting again. 2 best friends on opposite sidelines

    • formerlyz

      *I just realized I said sidelines for some reason, instead of benches

  4. padam

    “…agreed to deal to become…”

    Yes, he’s agreed to deal coaching the Knicks, which is a deal of its own, but can someone please edit before hitting submit. Hurts reading crappy grammar.

    • oriolesravenstimberwolves04

      Please stop complaining about grammar. For the love of god man.

      • padam

        As a fellow blogger, no, I can’t. That’s why there’s copy editors.

  5. GrizzTony

    I’m glad for the Knicks, and for Fizz. Hopefully he can be a better communicator with that roster than he was with the Grizzlies.

  6. Armaday

    Poor guy has a lot of work to do. That frying pan he is going to sit on gets very hot!
    I do wish him well…

  7. Z-A

    Have to be pissed if I am Budenholzer. But I guess he still gets his money from Atlanta?

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