The New York Knicks have missed the playoffs for five straight years. Through that period, the Big Apple’s native team’s plan to build towards championship caliber seems to have taken a few steps back. Phil Jackson is long gone, superstar Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, their current superstar Kristaps Porzingas went down with a season-ending knee injury and his status for the upcoming season is quite doubtful. On top of that, the team is stuck with the large contract of Joakim Noah – who is clearly not the dominant defensive player he was back in his Chicago days – and the team has parted ways with head coach Jeff Hornacek. Sounds like an entire family gone wrong, right?
As the Knicks watched the playoffs from home, they did come across the positive news that former Miami Heat assistant and Grizzlies head coach, David Fizdale, will be their new coach. After his departure from the Grizzlies, Fizdale has spent the last six-months as an analyst for ESPN. He promises to be a breath of fresh air for a franchise that is dying to have something to cheer for:
“When I was a kid, I used to tell my mother that one day I will be playing basketball at Madison Square Garden. That didn’t quite work out, but now I can at least tell her that I will be coaching at the world’s most famous arena”, Fizdale said in his introduction press conference. He expressed his excitement and desire to play at the place known as the “mecca of basketball.”
Fizdale has a big job ahead of him. The New York fan base and media can work with and against a player or coach at any time. This has always been a place where if you can win, you will be remembered as one of the greats. He is best known for his two championship titles as an assistant coach in Miami and being a player’s coach. He has developed great relationships with some of the best players in the league such as LeBron James and Dywayne Wade. If there’s anybody that can go in headstrong and deal with the pressure that comes with dealing with the media and coaching in New York, it is Coach Fiz, former NBA player Paul Pierce said.
The NBA draft is next month and general manager Scott Perry and vice president Steve Mills have some cleaning up to do in order to help Fizdale succeed in creating a winning culture here in the Big Apple. Is Fiz the savior Knick fans have been waiting for? Stay tuned!