Knicks Notes: Fizdale, Mills, Payton, More

More than 48 hours after news broke that the Knicks had parted ways with head coach David Fizdale, the team released a formal statement on Sunday night that expanded on its initial, bare-bones announcement from Friday — albeit not by much.

“The New York Knicks organization would like to thank David Fizdale for his leadership and professionalism over the past two seasons,” the new statement read. “He represented the organization with nothing but class. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Sunday’s press release included a longer statement from Fizdale himself, who thanked team president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry, and owner James Dolan for the opportunity to coach the Knicks, and expressed gratitude to Knicks fans for their “passion and commitment.”

Typically, when a team issues a statement like the one New York did on Sunday, it’s attributed to the team’s head of basketball operations or owner. However, the Knicks’ press release on Fizdale notably didn’t mention Mills, as Marc Berman of The New York Post points out, which may be another signal that the team president is on shaky ground.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News explores potential replacements for Mills if the Knicks decide to make a front office change. The right move would be to hire an accomplished executive and grant him full autonomy, Bondy opines.
  • Sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv that the Knicks have been keeping an eye out for potential moves that would improve the current roster. While New York may be doing its due diligence, it’s hard to imagine the team would become a buyer in advance of the trade deadline. The front office’s uncertain future also complicates matters, as Begley observes.
  • Elfrid Payton, who is back from a hamstring strain, is on a minutes restriction for now, but looked like the Knicks’ best point guard on Saturday, Berman writes for The New York Post, noting that it may just be a matter of time before Payton reclaims the starting job.
  • Westchester Knicks GM Allan Houston pushed hard to have Mike Miller considered for the Knicks’ interim head coaching job once Fizdale was fired, according to Berman. Miller previously coached New York’s G League affiliate in Westchester.
  • Knicks fans deserved a better explanation from the team’s decision-makers for their head coaching change, argues Barbara Barker of Newsday. Mills and Perry didn’t hold a news conference over the weekend to discuss Fizdale’s dismissal.
  • Former Knick Carmelo Anthony addressed Fizdale’s firing and the perception that stars don’t want to play for the franchise. Steve Popper of Newsday has the details and the quotes from Anthony.
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7 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Fizdale, Mills, Payton, More

  1. emac22

    Fans deserved a better explanation?

    Any fan that’s too stupid to understand why Fizdale was fired needs a lot of help that doesn’t have anything to do with an explanation from the owners.

    I sure wish the team had some writers covering them. The current cut and paste gang is way to dependant on being spoon fed.

  2. Mills/Perry can’t be permitted to make any trade, let alone one to “upgrade” the roster. This is why (at least) Mills must go within the next month. Let Allan Houston run the FO through the deadline and see if he can salvage some assets out of this roster of misfit toys that Mo and Larry assembled.

    It was a pleasure to watch Mike Miller’s post game press conference. I honestly can’t remember the last time a Knick HC had a PC that wasn’t mostly about him, and only incidentally the team and game. Maybe once the clothing allowance kicks in (clearly it hasn’t) things will normalize.

  3. x%sure

    Elfrid Payton will be the answer for the next coach. He would have been for Fizdale at least through Feb15.

    As for Bondy’s position, thinking the Mills replacement should have full autonomy… How many Knicks bigwigs are supposed to get that promise? I think applicants can see through that. How about a team effort?
    Maybe he meant, get someone that can supress Dolan, but its hard to supress a NYer!

  4. The simple explanation is that Fizdale is not a head coach and is best suited for an assistant coach role (where I think he could be one of the best in the league). The more thought out explanation is that Fizdale is the scapegoat for an inept front office and, more precisely, a terrible owner. When you’ve been as bad as the Knicks have been for the last 15-20 years, there is always a common denominator/primary factor. Its not the coaching staff or front office (although it helps to have a good one). Its probably not the players. And you can’t blame the market or fanbase so there is only one person left to blame and its Dolan.

    It’s actually kind of amazing how poorly he runs the Knicks considering the New York Rangers have been run halfway decent through at least half, if not longer, of his ownership. The Rangers haven’t been the model franchise, but they’re not a dumpster fire either and that’s because Dolan has put the right people in charge and lets them properly run things. With the Knicks, Dolan makes poor front office decisions and tries to throw money at free agents to solve their problems instead of trying to build something sustainable. The sad part is that I don’t know if the Knicks would be able to properly rebuild under Dolan because the years of poor decisions have led the fanbase to lose all faith and trust in the decision makers (which I don’t blame the fanbase at all for).

  5. phillyballers

    Hinkie knows how to tank effectively. Knicks have tanked so poorly. Hire him.

    • dynasty in boston

      You’re not kidding. 76ers have turned tanking into an art form. Three decades worth…what a run.

      If you’re lucky, maybe Hinkie will teach Knicks how to draft poorly too. Philly drafted two generations of Okafor family. Smh

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