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David Fizdale does not want ‘cupcakes’ or soft players on Knicks

The New York Knicks moved on from the unsuccessful Jeff Hornacek era by hiring former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale. Of course, the Knicks are expected to undergo a roster change not to mention a philosophical change as well.

One of the changes Fizdale wants to bring to the franchise is toughness. Keep in mind, Fizdale comes from coaching the Grizzlies, who were known by the moniker “Grind City.”

Grind City is more known as a reference to the city of Memphis, but Fizdale brought that to a Grizzlies team who played tough defense to win games. Fizdale apparently is not wasting any time bringing that approach to the Mecca.

Ian Begley of ESPN provided comments Fizdale made on the network’s Get Up! program about the style of player he wants to install in New York after being hired to replace Jeff Hornacek.

“Long and tough. But he’s gotta have an edge to him. I don’t want soft guys here. I don’t want cupcakes,” he said. “I want guys that have an edge to them, that enjoy defending. That get joy out of locking teams down.”

Fizdale’s new system could pay off, as the Knicks are still developing young star Kristaps Porzingis and second-year player Frank Ntilikina. Once Porzingis is done rehabbing — which could be awhile — he could benefit from a physical post game, which could translate to a greater presence on the boards. Fizdale can utilize Marc Gasol as a model for development for Porzingis. Ntilikina has already shown grit as a solid wing defender, with strides being made on offense.

However, Fizdale has no time to waste — Knicks fans are starving for a quality team and will most likely be anxious early on. As for free agency, the Knicks are 11th in cap space for NBA teams — with the allure of the New York being a key aspect of their arsenal in their pitch to players.

That being said, there could be a plan on the horizon for acquiring LeBron James. Reports have suggested that the Knicks have already had contact with LeBron’s camp. While much remains to be seen, the plan for the Fizdale-led Knicks, while in its infancy, seems like a solid formula.