Community Shootaround: Knicks Chaos

Tonight, the Knicks suffered their second consecutive blowout defeat (and eighth straight loss overall), falling 129-92 to the Nuggets. Head coach David Fizdale‘s job appears to be in jeopardy.

In a postgame presser, Fizdale called the loss “sickening,” according to the New York Post’s Stefan Bondy. Soon after the loss, USA Today’s Chris Iseman and Newsday’s Steve Popper both commented on Fizdale’s increasingly shaky vocational security in separate pieces. Fizdale’s record as the Knicks’ head coach is 21-83.

But how much blame should really be allocated to Fizdale for the team’s lackluster 4-18 start to this 2019/20 season? Rookie RJ Barrett and second-year big man Mitchell Robinson have flashed significant promise under his tutelage. Fizdale remains respected across the league thanks to his time as an assistant coach on Erik Spoelstra‘s championship-winning Heat staff.

This summer, the Knicks whiffed on adding future Hall of Famers Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, who opted to join New York’s crosstown rivals, the upstart Nets. Instead, the team issued a public apology and signed four replacement-level power forwards to exorbitant-but-short contracts, by the front office twosome of Scott Perry and Steve Mills. Yes, Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis can play some center, and yes, Marcus Morris can log some time as a small forward, but ultimately, all three players are best served at the four, as is their fellow free agent addition Julius Randle.

Perry and Mills also traded All-Star center Kristaps Porzingis in a package to the Mavericks for disappointing point guard Dennis Smith Jr., a few middling months of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, and an underwhelming pair of future first-round picks that ought to be well clear of the lottery.

Owner James Dolan has stirred the pot plenty himself, rotating through a seemingly endless series of coaches (12, and counting) and front office heads (nine) since taking over the team in 1999. There’s no need to get into the bevy of on- and off-court disasters logged by Dolan and his Knicks associates in the intervening 20 years, but let’s just say… it’s not pretty.

Ultimately, the buck stops with Dolan. His conduct as Knicks owner has led to Durant noting that the Knicks have lost their cache in a recent interview with Hot 97’s Ebro Darden. “I think a lot of fans look at the Knicks as a brand and expect these younger players [to view the Knicks the same way] who, in their lifetime, don’t remember the Knicks being good,” Durant told Darden.

The onus for the league’s first $4 billion team losing its sheen falls squarely at Dolan’s feet, in this writer’s opinion. Coaches and front office management may come and go, but until Dolan sells his team, basketball in the Mecca will remain a mess.

What do you think? Who should bear the brunt of the blame for this lost season — the players, Fizdale, management, or Dolan? Or just all of the above?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in!

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29 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Knicks Chaos

  1. krumbledkookie

    Well, all of the above, I suppose. But I can’t put this on Fiz as much as people seem to want to. The players still play hard, and even bums like Knox are still showing up ready to do whatever they have to. I can’t figure out why Trier can’t get some burn, cuz that kid is super talented – but that’s about the only thing I can throw at Fiz’s feet.

    The majority of the blame goes to Dolan, no doubt about it.

  2. yoyo137

    I don’t get why it’s suddenly such a big deal that they lost to the Nuggets. The Nuggets are an actual NBA team whereas the Knicks look like they could use some G-League players. Who expected anything different when they signed Randle, Portis, Gibson, and Morris when they have no stability at any other position? Fire everyone. Like EVERYONE. Coach, GM, everyone in the front office, James Dolan sell the team, fire everyone except for the guy that mops up the floor cause he’s the only person doing his job.

  3. Eric Lord

    The brunt of the blame goes on James Dolan. He is the one constant in all their failures. There have been different coaches & front office personnel. There have been different playoffs. Dolan’s management of the franchise has been downright awful. There is a reason that the Kincks cannot get a top free agent to sign with them. That reason is James Dolan has completely ruined the team

  4. One thing that should be put on Fizdale is the fact that Mitchell Robinson–far and away their most efficient and valuable player–plays 20 minutes a night. He should be playing 30 at a minimum.

    Everything else, like literally everything, should be blamed on Dolan. He’s a horrendous owner that the NBA needs to push out. He’s ran this franchise completely into the ground for years. What free agent would want to play for him? Having a team in the US’s largest market be a dud that no one wants to play for has to be bad for business. Make him sell. They will never win with him in charge.

  5. jiegar

    Knicks fans should boycot or do something so this idiot will sell the team to someone who actually loves basketball… Still it wil take at least 5 years to correct this mess…

  6. Curtisrowe

    Dolan, is an awful owner, The Knicks are a really bad team, Fizdale is not a good coach. I don’t think “who is to blame” really matters all that much. It’s all just awful.

  7. George

    Dolan is the one constant in the 20 years of disaster, and he’s created an atmosphere where quality free agents won’t touch the team.
    The days are gone where a couple of stars are enough to get into the playoffs, and the best players know it. Until the Knicks hire a front office that’s committed to rebuilding the team culture from the ground up, they will continue to be a joke.

  8. Skip, Tampa

    Dolan is definitely the head of this snake that should be removed. Even when top front office talent is out there they want nothing to do with the Knicks.
    Bright side is 2 or 3 of the big signings can be traded on the 15th for picks. Maybe DSJ as well.
    Team can completely revamp in 10 days and basically start over.
    Firing Fitz right now would be a seriously dumb move.
    Then again it’s the Knicks.

    • All you could get for most of those guys or second-round picks. Who’s going to give you a first-rounder for Marcus Morris or Taj Gibson? Nobody will give you a first-rounder for Dennis Smith Jr.

      Looks like the only keepers are Julius Randle, Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. Dump the rest for second-rounders and start over. Get a point guard and More Wings. Athletic wings.

  9. Decius

    Article nails it. I agree 100%. He makes the air toxic around MSG. The fans are even susceptible to his nonsense. He casually bans fans and even had his episodes with the media. I really wish there was a way to hold owners more accountable.

  10. Norm Chouinard

    And the coaching carousel goes round and round. Fiz is a symptom. The disease is above.

  11. julyn82001

    Sorry not a Knicks fan but does Dolan want to sell or not?? If he does not, then they cannot pushing out, pure and simple. It’s his enterprise, his business and it’s also America not a communist circus…

    • Decius

      We all understand that. Everyone knows. Do you mind if we vent or should we just keep buying team gear and shut our mouths? It is super frustrating but at least we can complain and blow off some steam. Don’t try to take that from us.

    • whoneedsfacts

      Dude this is literally a basketball rumors website. That means we are here to discuss rumors and news. This is America and here are hoops rumors we choose to use our freedom of spech to call our the rediculas Knicks ownership. Get it? Got it? Good!

    • Jason Lancaster

      Totally incorrect.

      The NBA is a league, and each franchise owner is subject to the league’s rules and requirements. If the league decides to kick him out, he’s gone.

      It’s no different than owning a McDonald’s franchise: If you own one and you decide to stop selling Big Macs and Happy Meals, you’ll find out who the real owner is in short order.

      And, I might add, franchises are something found in a capitalist society. Communists don’t do franchises.

      • Natergater77

        Also it has forced owners out in the past (see LA Clippers) and been good for the team and league

  12. Dabofus going to the Padres game

    You sign 2nd rate players you get 2nd rate results. Knicks signed a bunch of rotational players hoping they’d turn into effective starters. Ellington Gibson Morris Payton Portis are all good 2nd unit rotational players…..not starters.

    You might as well toss out ntkitia Smith Jr Barrett Knox Robinson with Trier Dotson 1st off the bench to get minutes. All should be going least 30 minutes a game. Get the vets in to give them breaks. But you need to figure out who’s sticking and who isn’t. You’re gonna suck anyways might as well suck while figuring the future out.

  13. When you have stars saying they didn’t want any part of the Knicks because of ownership, it’s clear Dolan is the problem. It doesn’t help the gm put together a poor roster. Can’t blame Fiz for this mess

  14. Saying Dolan is to blame for everything is true (since he’s in charge, he’s responsible for everything directly or indirectly), but also off point.

    The Knicks need to fire Mills NOW or shut him up (these daily news stories are coming from him, as he wants to keep the focus on Fizdale). I’d keep Fizdale and Perry until the end of the year (with no authority to make long term decisions).

    • Decius

      You are missing the point. The next group will fail too as long as that music-playing troll owns the team. I don’t blame Fizdale. I kinda don’t blame the Front Office (even though signing a bunch of players at the same position was kinda dumb). It falls at the doorstep of the lousy owner.

  15. dynasty in boston

    Knicks should count their lucky stars that Kaylee went elsewhere. They’ll be able to trade for him soon if they really want an over-rated and moody primadonna on the team

  16. x%sure

    The players were useful elsewhere but on this team, they seem to be atomizing… probably in anticipation of being moved.

    • x%sure

      Mention should be made of Elfrid Payton, injured this year so far, now easing in. The Knicks could have gotten him a while back but I think chose Mudiaye. Not sure of details but I laughed. He would be pulling this thing together, and Barrett would not have to play the 1.

      Payton may not be a New York answer, but they should not have been so bad. And Fizdale should be saying, wait until Payton is fulltime, then give the coach a grade. But IDK what he even thinks of Payton, who would be more of a fit than their other options.

  17. I’ll maybe put a little blame on Perry/Mills, but they answer to Dolan, and Dolan probably had his fingerprints all over the poor decisions Perry/Mills have made. The person who has to answer for this is Dolan, who is the worst current owner in all professional sports. Full stop.

    Put him up on a Mt. Rushmore of awful owners with Jerry Jones, Marge Schott, and Al Davis (who at least won championships). Donald Sterling gets his own monument.

  18. “the Knicks whiffed on adding future Hall of Famers Kyrie Irving…”

    Hall of fame? THAT is hilarious.

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