Could David Fizdale hiring help lure LeBron James to Knicks?
The New York Knicks on Thursday reportedly hired David Fizdale as the team’s new head coach, replacing Jeff Hornacek. Fizdale was a highly sought-after candidate among teams on the lookout for a new coach and the Knicks deserve initial credit for having him come aboard.
But what may be the most intriguing — and potentially rewarding (to put it mildly) — aspect of bringing on Fizdale is the notion held by some insiders that it potentially makes the Knicks a viable, albeit still unlikely, free agency destination for LeBron James.
Fizdale and James go way back, as the former served as an assistant with the Miami Heat from 2008 to 2016, which of course includes James’ tenure in South Beach. James’ ultimate landing spot will include higher aspirations — like the team boasting a championship-caliber roster — should he exercise his player option, as expected.
Yet, Fizdale’s presence in the Big Apple — with all the added trappings of playing in the biggest sports market in the world — conceivably could prove somewhat alluring to James.
The New York Post’s Marc Berman lays out some of the logistical and financial gymnastics the Knicks would have to naviage just to get in on the James sweepstakes, including the need for some serious salary-cap finagling and the like.
That said, James made his unhappiness abundantly clear when the Memphis Grizzlies fired Fizdale last November. On the day Fizdale was let go, James issued the following tweet:
I need some answers. Feels like my man was a fall guy
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 27, 2017
James later expanded upon his thoughts on Fizdale’s firing, including the notion the coach was let go due to a rift with Marc Gasol.
LeBron says “everybody in the basketball world” was surprised by David Fizdale’s firing. pic.twitter.com/BjqL5vuFUe
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) November 28, 2017
“Everybody in the basketball world (was surprised)….I don’t know the details of it cause i’m not around,” James said. “But I know the type of coach Fiz is. I know how players relate to him and I know what he stands for. Maybe that’s what it was, cause he ain’t gonna kiss nobody a**”
It’s certainly more than the longest of long shots that James ends up with the Knicks. That said, Fizdale’s hiring can’t hurt the Knicks’ prospects.