The Knicks fired David Fizdale earlier today while also relieving Keith Smart of his duties as assistant coach. The move comes after a 4-18 start, which ties a record for worst in franchise history.
While Fizdale repeatedly told reporters that he had owner James Dolan’s backing, Jabari Young of CNBC.com hears from an agent who represents coaches around the league that the firing was “inevitable.” Assistant coach Mike Miller will now take over as the interim head coach with 60 games to go in the season.
Former Warriors coach and Knicks guard Mark Jackson has been linked to the team as a long-term candidate for the role (any major hire is likely to come in the offseason) and Young reports that Spurs assistant Becky Hammon would be interested in the job should the team be willing to offer her a long-term deal. Young mentions four or five years as the necessary length of the contract.
Young also mentions former Coach of the Year (2007) Sam Mitchell as a good candidate for the short-term, as Mitchell has a reputation for getting top effort out of players.
Here’s more on the Knicks:
- Jeff Van Gundy, Jason Kidd, and Tyronn Lue are among the former NBA coaches that Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic names as options for the Knicks. Vorkunov also lists several potential candidates without former head coaching experience, such as Jarron Collins, Stephen Silas, and Ettore Messina.
- The firing of Fizdale won’t clean up the Knicks’ issues, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today explains. Zillgitt believes that the front office should shoulder the blame for putting together this roster and simply expecting Fizdale to produce results with it.
- Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post argues that the Knicks should fire team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry. The regime put together a plan of signing big-name free agents and failed to deliver.