Knicks Fire Head Coach David Fizdale

After starting the season with a record of 4-18, the Knicks have fired coach David Fizdale, as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports. The team also fired assistant coach Keith Smart.

New York had another embarrassing loss on Thursday at home vs. the Nuggets, falling 129-92 to Denver and becoming only the seventh team in NBA history to lose back-to-back games by 35 points or more. Fizdale labeled the team’s effort “sickening” after the game, and was also asked by the media if the Knicks’ struggles would fall on him.

“I don’t care about all of that, I don’t even think about that really,” Fizdale said.

Back when he took the gig in 2018, Fizdale chose New York over other offers, such as positions in Charlotte, Phoenix, and Atlanta, Wojnarowski adds. Perhaps another franchise would have been more patient with Fizdale, but nevertheless, the coach finishes his New York stint with a record of 21-83.

According to Wojnarowski, Fizdale’s .202 winning percentage is the fifth-worst mark for a head coach with a single team (minimum 100 games) over the last 30 years.

Fizdale has appeared to be on the hot seat for much of the season, particularly after a November 10 postgame press conference in which executives Steve Mills and Scott Perry publicly discussed their disappointment in the club’s slow start to the season.

Fizdale becomes the first head coach to be fired during the 2019/20 NBA season, and will be replaced in the interim by Mike Miller (not the former NBA player), as we detail in a separate story. Since Fizdale was only in the second season of a four-year, $22MM deal, the Knicks will be on the hook for his remaining salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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50 thoughts on “Knicks Fire Head Coach David Fizdale

  1. formerlyz

    The knicks are such a joke. Can’t ever just do things the right way. That’s fine. You will never establish a culture if you continue to do things the way you do, your young players wont develop the way they should, and you wont have free agents join your circus show, no matter how much you think you’re entitled to it. Clowns….all of them, just like the guy they replaced, and that includes the fans the eat up every narrative those people push

    • IslandFlava

      Just glad to get rid of Fiz, hopefully he won’t be a HC ever again in the NBA, guy sucks. & you right with him as a HC he has damaged all the young guys, he couldn’t be able to develop a young guy like Doncic even, just useless. Worst decision Knicks done in years was to sign him.

      • Curtisrowe

        Do you really think Fizdale is the worst decision the Knicks “done” in years? I can’t even tell if you’re joking half the time. It isn’t even in the top 100.

        • dynasty in boston

          Don’t pick on poor Flava. English is his second language.

          I’m actually not sure what team he “likes”. He’s not a Celts fan, that’s been established. He appears to follow Irving/Nets, Philly and Knicks.

      • formerlyz

        Well clearly you either think I said something else, or didnt read what I said entirely…David Fizdale was trying to build winning players, with winning habits, and a winning culture, in an environment that has no idea what those things look like. That was his job coming in too, and it still didn’t matter. So good luck picking your thousandth coach in the last few years, and keep bringing up the same names that are similar to Fizdale, and think it will do anything

  2. DynamiteAdams

    Really stupid. You’re going to pay him to not coach the next two years during a period where you are rebuilding anyway. Buts Knicks gonna Knick ig

  3. goldenmisfit

    Lakers fan here, not putting this on the coach this is mostly on their talent or lack there of. Does anyone really believe this team would be 4-18 if they had LeBron and Anthony Davis? The fact is they have no talent and I don’t care if you had Phil Jackson as the head coach this team would still be God awful.

    • Ralphie

      I guarantee you they’d be better than 4-18. A good coach would have them around.500 Fizdale was awful, just look at the plays he called out of time outs. They might not have a lot of talent but they have enough to be closer to a .500 team.

      • formerlyz

        Has nobody even watched this team play? How many close games they’ve lost? They win even a couple of those and you arent saying the same thing. They kind of remind me of the Heat from a couple of years ago, actually, but without the injuries…and that team went on a massive run in the 2nd half to almost make the playoffs. Not saying they could do that, but if they won a few games in a row, they wouldnt be too far out of that range. I had them as the 11 seed going into the season. I dont think it’s too farfetched to say they can still end up there. So what does firing your coach accomplish? It’s literally just to blame someone for people that dont know anything

    • snotrocket

      “we haven’t been entertained since Patrick Ewing left” -Knicks fans, probably

      • Dodgethis

        No such thing as Knicks fans, just dumb new Yorkers who think the world revolves around them. Knicks have been a joke for their entire existence. That said, fizdale has to be the most overrated coach ever. When has he ever been a good coach? What team of his ever won Anything?

        • KC2112

          Just wondering if you are forgetting that they won a couple of chips in the 70’s when the league was smaller and the other team’s were very talented then. Also they were very good in the 90’s under Riley, so your comment of being a joke their entire existence is way off base, they have been a joke since Dolan took ov E r as the owner.

  4. Otogar

    Fizdale is not a good head coach, and he already proved it in Memphis. But many people above him would have to go for things to get fixed in NY. Starting, indeed, with Dolan himself.

    • Jason Lancaster

      I think this is probably fair, only I’d point out that Dolan has told coaches who to play in years gone by. If Dolan was setting the rotations, Fizdale’s record shouldn’t reflect that.

      Still, if I had to bet money, I’d bet Fizdale succeeds best as an assistant in charge of player development.

    • Jason Lancaster

      No way. First, Van Gundy is too smart to say yes. Second, he’s not capable of winning in today’s NBA…his teams would give up too many transition points because he’d be crying about offensive rebounds.

    • phils phanatic

      does van Gundy even want to coach again?he seems to really enjoy his analyst job and it probably pays pretty decent with plenty of down time and a legit off season all without having to deal with a locker room full of egos(not to mention ownership ego)

  5. emac22

    Fizdale had to go but mills at the very least should have gone with him.

    You can’t keep asking him to do a job he has already proven he doesn’t do very well.

    The NBA should stop trashing the team and realize how profitable it is if the Knicks are really good. Help them install decent leadership.

    • It is not the league’s responsibility to make sure its teams, regardless of how valuable they are, are being run well. They are private businesses. What you suggest is perilously close to having the league itself run the team. Always a problem in sports, like with the New Orleans Hornets in the early part of this decade, multiple NHL teams, and the Montreal Expos.

      This responsibility rests with the owner. He must install the correct leadership and no one else. The only way the league gets involved is if Dolan does something egregious, Sterling-style.

      • DynamiteAdams

        Although I agree it’s a bad idea, the NBA kinda forced the Sixers to fire Hinkie and replace him with Colangelo, so there is a president here to force an owner’s hand for the good or perceived good of the league.

      • emac22

        It’s the league’s responsibility to make money isn’t it?

        I didn’t say they should do it to be nice or for world peace. They should do it so that all of the team’s make more money.

        Higher ratings and good press is good for business. Big market teams getting insulted on the news every day isn’t.

        • Are you trying to argue that the Knicks shouldn’t be getting trashed for the last several years? What a joke. The Knicks make plenty of money, despite being a laughingstock.

    • phils phanatic

      I’m sure if the nba helped them run the team(which is essentially what ur asking them to do) there would be 29 other teams claiming they’re violation anti trust laws

      • emac22

        They need a solid coach and GM and haven’t had one for some time.

        I’m not talking about replacing the owner of converting the US to socialism. They just need help replacing mills and Fizdale…and maybe Perry.

        A little direction to the players and media not to pile on quite as much wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Trashing your product isn’t good business.

        • It’s not the league trashing the Knicks. It’s fans and the media. The NBA isn’t bashing its own teams.

  6. hiflew

    It’s about time. Any coach that cannot win with a roster consisting of 4 point guards and 8 power forwards doesn’t deserve to coach in the NBA.

  7. Sure, we could blame him for the crappy start and game management of playing time, etc., but he didn’t sign 4 PFs and trade KP for what is beginning to look like crap. Starts with Dolan, then Mills, who then brought in Perry who’s already failed in the past.

    As a Knicks fan, I didn’t have any expectations other than where they currently reside. Not sure firing a guy players respect as this point of the season of going to change anything. Next up – Perry.

    Let the bodies hit the floor.

  8. Skip, Tampa

    What a complete crock. Heck, Fitz is a far better coach than Dolan deserved. He will certainly smile while on a 2 year Dolan out. This while 2 lying, scamming piece of trash still have a front office job to boot.
    No wonder no one wants to touch this dumpster fire.
    Fans, players and management should all walk out of the next home game in protest of Dolan.
    Let him stew on that for awhile.

    • emac22

      Fizdale sucked. You can complain all you want about the roster but the bottom line is he consistently made the team worse.

  9. Quentin

    Knicks fired a competent coach that was given a trash roster.

    Yet Jim Boylen still has a job in Chicago…

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      I wouldn’t put the blame entirely on Fiz, but I wouldn’t exactly call him competent either. Of all the garbage leading that franchise, he mostly just smelled a little less bad.

  10. x%sure

    Lol, HR ran a quick Community Shootout about Fizdale last night about 11, even with all the comments made about the Knicks already, then ran a Fizdale About To Go article this morning. I think they knew.

    I have dissed Fizdale myself so I can’t complain. Quick firings always seem unfair though.

    BTW I hope Jeff VG stays yapping instead of taking a team, even though he sounds restless.

  11. I initially thought Fizdale would be a head coach again, given the strong reputation he has around the league from his time in Miami. He certainly has been a hot commodity in the past, as many top assistants (Walton, Lue) have been before they underwhelm as the head honcho. But I think it’s fair to question whether or not he’s actually a good coach. I lean towards no.

  12. Skip, Tampa

    That exactly to the point. No one cares, not the NBA certainly. Dolan is swimming in money so he sure doesn’t that’s for sure.
    Players keep signing for a check, not that I blame them for that.
    Fans keep buying tickets and Knicks merchandise. Then again giving up wives, kids and dogs do probably rate as good moves compared to season tickets at MSG.
    Oh well, just another season of Dolan slime ball to skate thru.

  13. It a just world, Mills would have been the first to go. But Fizdale can’t complain. He choose to sign on as the third Stooge. He wasn’t (in either year) given a roster that was going to yield a lot of wins, but that also wasn’t a prime expectation. Stabilizing performance, along with player and team development, were probably at the top of the list. He failed miserably on all those fronts, and it was getting worse as time went on, not better. I would have fired Mills and kept Fizdale until the end of the year, but in the end being Stooge Free in 2020-21 was (and is) my only hope.

  14. Stoop Down Low

    The problem with the Knicks is they don’t know how to play basketball down to the fundamentals of the game. Rick Pitino would make a difference on that, these other coaches I’m not so sure. Some nights Pitino wins games by himself by out-coaching the opposition. Let’s see the Knicks put his genius to the ultimate test.

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