In David Fizdale, the Knicks landed a coach who was coveted by multiple teams with job openings this spring, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. We’ve previously heard that Fizdale turned down an offer from the Suns and met with Hawks ownership. A source tells Berman that Fizdale was also a “frontrunner” for the Hornets and Magic positions.
So why did Fizdale opt for the Knicks’ job? Former Nets guard Elliot Perry – a current Grizzlies broadcaster and Fizdale confidant – tells Berman that he believes the former Grizzlies coach wants the challenge of being on a big stage in New York.
“That’s the one thing I mentioned to him,” Perry said. “You’re never off stage in New York as [the Knicks’] head coach. You’re not always on the stage in Memphis. He wanted the challenge. He thinks there’s talent there. He thought it was a good fit.”
Let’s round up a few more items from out of the Atlantic, including another note on Fizdale…
- In a piece for Newsday, Al Iannazzone examines why the Knicks felt that Fizdale was the right pick for their job, with one source downplaying the head coach’s tension with Marc Gasol in Memphis. “He gets along great with players,” that source told Iannazzone. “He’s a good developmental guy and is good at working with the players. He comes from Miami, where they put an emphasis on that. He’s still unproven as far as X’s and O’s. But he’s good with players.”
- The Celtics are missing a pair of difference-making players on the court, with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving on the shelf, but the team also has a difference maker on the sidelines in Brad Stevens, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. “He knows each player like the back of his hand, so he’s going to put you in the right position, he’s going to put you in the right spot, to be great,” Terry Rozier said of his head coach.
- Raptors president Masai Ujiri received a $25K fine from the NBA for walking on the court during halftime of Game 3 to “verbally confront” the game’s referees, the league announced today in a press release. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey expressed his displeasure with the officiating throughout the game, and Ujiri joined the act as the second quarter ended.