The Knicks may be out of patience with coach David Fizdale after their latest embarrassing loss, writes Steve Popper of Newsday.
Fizdale’s team was run out of Madison Square Garden early last night, trailing by as many as 43 points before losing by 37. That followed a 44-point loss Monday in Milwaukee and dropped New York’s record to 4-18, the worst in the Eastern Conference.
“I don’t care about all that,” Fizdale said after the game when asked about his future. “I don’t even think about that, really. I think about the next team we’re playing, I think about the guys in the locker room and how I can help them. At the end of the day, that’s all I care about.”
Knicks fans responded with loud boos to the latest effort, and a few “Fire Fizdale” chants were heard throughout the evening. None of the promise was evident from this summer when the team added seven veteran free agents, and any hope of a quick turnaround is distant memory.
Popper notes that the fans could have targeted their anger in a number of directions, from owner James Dolan to the management team of president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry to the on-court talent, who seem worn down by the continuous losing.
Taj Gibson, one of the veterans who signed this summer, came to Fizdale’s defense.
“You’ve got to continue to keep fighting, continue to keep pushing, because nobody in this league is going to feel sorry for you,” he said. “Fiz is doing a good job preaching and keeping guys in tune, but at the same time we have to do a better job, including myself. He can’t keep taking the bullets for us. We have to step up. We have to grow. We have to mature and mature quickly.”
Teammate Marcus Morris declined to comment on Fizdale’s future, responding to an inquiry with, “Next question.”
The path for Knicks won’t get any easier. They face a four-game road trip next week and still have the Pacers, Heat, Bucks and Nets left on their December schedule. Fizdale’s 21-83 record since taking over in New York could get even worse — if he keeps his job.
“I’m still coaching this team. I’m still pushing them,” he told reporters. “I’m still preparing them. We had a hell of a practice before this game, it was just a disappointing output.”