David Fizdale was asked to give his thoughts on Bulls players threatening to revolt against coach Jim Boylen after a series of harsh practices, and the new Knicks coach gave a response about his players that should bring confidence to fans in New York.
Since being hired as head coach, Fizdale has preached the importance of keeping a healthy culture. The Knicks’ poor culture before Fizdale’s arrival is well-documented and in the past, but it’s something he’ll vigorously work to keep his team away from. When asked if he’d ever consider running a Jim Boylen-style practice, however, Fizdale laughed.
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. “I wouldn’t rule it out. But at the end of the day, I can’t even think about what’s going on in Chicago. I’ve got a house full of young ’uns that I’ve got to take care of. But you know every coach has got to handle their situation the way that they see fit. I can only speak for my group. I feel like I’ve established a good trust with these guys so they know if I do pull something, it’s probably worthwhile and that they deserve it. So that’s how I view when I really want to crack down on them, I’m hoping that I’ve gotten to a place with these guys that they know it’s coming from the right place.”
Fizdale’s last job as an assistant was with the Heat, a team with one of the proudest, hard-working atmospheres in the NBA. He saw first hand the importance of keeping a team together both on the hardwood and off, and has brought those principles to his new job with the Knicks this season.
There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- Jimmy Butler has impacted the 76ers despite not playing in the past two games, Brian Seltzer of NBA.com writes. Butler has encouraged and assisted his teammates from the sidelines when needed, becoming a vocal leader for the team. “He just is an incredible example of professionalism to our guys,” coach Brett Brown said. “His resume speaks for itself, and that’s all under the fact that, as I see it, he loves his job. He loves basketball.”
- The Raptors have their core for the future regardless of what Kawhi Leonard chooses to do in free agency, Shams Charania explaines in a video for Watch Stadium. Leonard will become a free agent on July 1, and could consider joining the Clippers if he leaves Toronto. Outside of Leonard, the Raptors currently sport a core group of Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas.
- Knicks center Luke Kornet has a golden opportunity to prove he deserves to be in New York past this season, Marc Berman of the New York post writes. Kornet is expected to receive more playing time in the coming games as Mitchell Robinson copes with an ankle injury. He recorded 13 points, six rebounds, two steals and three blocks in the team’s overtime victory against the Hornets on Friday.