Following an extensive search for a new head coach, the New York Knicks finally chose their man as they agreed a deal with David Fizdale this week.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the two parties have come to terms on a four-year contract and an official announcement is expected in the coming days with a press conference to formally introduce him.
Fizdale was the most sought-after name on the market and had a choice of several jobs after also holding interviews with the Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks.
But it was the Knicks who managed to acquire his services and he'll now be tasked with turning around the fortunes of a franchise that has been in mediocrity for several years.
He'll be happy to know that news of his imminent appointment seems to have already gone down well in the locker room.
Enes Kanter is excited to work with the former Memphis Grizzlies head coach and believes he's a great fit for the team.
“I like him a lot,” Enes Kanter told Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “I think it’s amazing. Defensive-minded coach. I think it’s going to be good for the Knicks.”
The 43-year-old spent 18 years as an assistant coach before he landed his first head coaching gig with the Grizzlies.
He's gained a reputation for being a players' coach during his career and Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee is looking forward to seeing that in action.
“I just know that he’s a great players’ coach,” Lee said per Newsday. “He’s a guy that’s going to fight for what he believes in and fight for his team.
"He got that culture instilled in him in Miami. He was with [Erik] Spoelstra and with Pat Riley for a while. You saw the success they had in developing players and pushing for them playoff runs.
“Even in his time in Memphis, you can tell he was focused on a team or getting better — whether it was holding your best player accountable or your worst player accountable.
"He wasn’t afraid to be confrontational and get his message across. So that’s a quality I like about him.”
Fizdale was fired by Memphis early in the season after they started the campaign 7-12.
But in his first full season in charge, he led the team to the playoffs.
New York has now gone five straight years without making it to the postseason. If their new coach is able to end that drought, he'll earn hero status in the Big Apple.
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