After an extensive head coaching search which saw them interview 14 different candidates, the New York Knicks have finally chosen their man.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Knicks have agreed a deal with former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale to take the reins at Madison Square Garden.
According to Woj, the two parties have come to terms on a four-year deal after he met with owner James Dolan in New York on Thursday.
After also conducting interviews with the likes of Mike Budenholzer, Mark Jackson and David Blatt, general manager Scott Perry and president Steve Mills pinpointed Fizdale as the man they wanted to take the franchise forward.
Woj states that the 46-year-old was the team’s primary target from the start of their search process but they were keen to do their due diligence and interview many other candidates.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported just days ago that Fizdale had become the frontrunner for the position and the Knicks have now finally come to a decision.
Coach Fiz was fired early in the season by the Grizzlies after they made a 7-12 start to the campaign.
In his first full year in charge, however, he led Memphis to a 43-39 record and a postseason berth.
His dismissal was met with shock around the NBA as many felt he was the fall guy for the Grizzlies’ poor form on the court.
Multiple injuries - which included key point guard Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons – made it difficult for Memphis to put wins on the board with a shorthanded team.
A falling out with star player and longtime Grizz center Marc Gasol ultimately led to his departure.
His firing didn’t put teams off, however, as he was one of the most sought-after names on the market.
As well as New York, he interviewed with the Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Phoenix Suns in recent weeks.
But it’s the Knicks who have managed to capture his services and an official announcement is expected soon with a news conference early next week.
According to Wojnarowski, Fizdale will also travel to Latvia to meet the team’s superstar player Kristaps Porzingis who’s back in his homeland rehabbing from his torn ACL.
The franchise want to build a young core around the power forward and believe their new head coach is the right man to spearhead this.
Fizdale has a reputation for forming strong relationships with players and has regularly received ringing endorsements from the likes of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James having worked with them in Miami during their championship-winning seasons with the Heat.
Turning around the fortunes of one of the biggest organisations in the NBA won’t be easy, but he’s certainly up to the task.
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