Dwyane Wade knows David Fizdale from their time together in Miami and he believes the coach is changing the perception of the Knicks‘ organization.
“I think he’s already changed that perception. Players around the league want to play for Fiz,” Wade tells Stefan Bondy of the Daily News. “Now that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away because things happen – guys stay in certain places or they go team up with someone else. But if you ask every player around the league who is the coach they want to play for, Fiz’s name would come up.”
Wade added that a team’s coach isn’t the only factor in attracting free agents. Culture will play a role in making New York a desirable landing spot.
“It comes with what the players are doing on the court. It comes with what the organization is doing,” Wade said. “And other things as well. So he’s definitely going to try to change the culture but it’s a lot of other things that goes with it.”
Wade spoke about how Fizdale helped him shape his game. The current Knicks coach joined the Heat as an assistant in 2008 and used his tremendous communication skills to showcase his basketball mind, helping Wade become the player he is today.
“I allowed him to take my game to the place where I could still play now at 36 without having the same athleticism and everything I had when he first came here,” Wade said of Fizdale. “It’s tough. He came in and I’m a six-time All-Star already. So to sit there and show me a different way, to be able to explain it to me, to be able to give me the vision, it’s a talent he has.”
Turning the Knicks around will be a challenge and Wade feels Fizdale is ready for it. “I think he is very aware — him and his wife — they understand where they want to go. A job like the Knicks, he wanted the challenge. It’s one of those jobs that not many people have gotten right. But if you get it right, it’s a special thing. And someone like him, he doesn’t run away from a challenge,” Wade explained.