David Fizdale has ‘no ill feelings’ toward Knicks over firing
David Fizdale failed to help initiate the long-awaited — yet challenging — turnaround for the New York Knicks during his season-plus tenure, but he holds “no ill feelings” toward the organization despite the fact he was cut loose so quickly.
Fizdale was fired on Dec. 6 amid an eight-game losing streak that left the Knicks an Eastern Conference-worst 4-18. The dismissal was expected, despite Fizdale insisting on more than one occasion ahead of his dismissal that he felt supported by the front office.
Addressing his firing for the first time Wednesday during an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo” show, Fizdale made mention of how losing one’s job is part of the coaching business. What’s more, Fizdale admitted he wishes he was still with the team.
“That’s the business we’ve chosen,” Fizdale said, as transcribed by Malika Andrews of ESPN. “I respect those guys greatly. I miss the hell out of them. … I obviously learned a ton from it and I was just really grateful to have that opportunity to say I was the head coach of the Knicks.”
Fizdale coached the Knicks to a 21-83 record after being named head coach on May 7, 2018. The argument has been made that Fizdale was used as nothing more than a scapegoat by a front office of an organization that has been maligned by top-to-bottom dysfunction for years.
That said, Knicks owner James Dolan — himself saddled with the perception that his mercurial behavior and questionable leadership have largely contributed to the Knicks’ lengthy and ongoing woes — sided with a front office headed by team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.
There has been speculation that both Mills and Perry could be the next ones out. Either way, Fizdale observed that the fans’ “patience level” when it comes to the Knicks’ seemingly endless rebuild is running thin.
“It is a team that has struggled for a long time and I think fans really want to get that thing going as soon as possible,” Fizdale said. “It’s unique from that standpoint. There’s other places you can take your time a little more and build more slowly.”