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.
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