After a disappointing offseason spiraled into a disastrous start to the regular season, the New York Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Knicks’ assistant Keith Smart was also fired.
Fizdale was in the midst of his second year on the job after a 17-65 finish to the 2018-19 season. The Knicks hired the former Memphis Grizzlies head coach during the 2018 offseason when the team had its sights set on rebuilding around the free-agent class of 2019.
Fired in Memphis during his second season in 2017, Fizdale arrived in New York with a reputation as a players’ coach.
Fizdale was hired at least in part because of those expectations. He is beloved by the star players he worked with as an assistant under Erik Spoelstra in Miami.
This season saw higher expectations for a similarly flawed roster. The front office wanted to see progress from a young yet surprisingly expensive roster. That progress has not come, and now, Fizdale is getting punished for it.
Where do the Knicks go from here? That’s a question nobody can honestly say they have the answers for. Fizdale is the scapegoat for a franchise that seems to have bigger issues behind the scenes.