Last season, it was quite the shock when David Fizdale was fired by the Memphis Grizzlies.
After going 43-39 in his first season at the helm of the Grizzlies in 2016-2017, Fizdale got off to a 7-12 start last year before he was let go.
Since he was a widely-respected figure in the league and regarded as one of the best NBA assistants before he got the gig in Memphis, it was an odd time for his termination.
Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reported that a rift between Fizdale and star center Marc Gasol "contributed heavily" to the decision made by the organization.
Now in the Big Apple after signing a multi-year deal to be the next head coach of the New York Knicks, Fizdale has already made a positive impression on the team. He even famously took some of the team’s young players to watch the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers square off in the Eastern Conference Finals.
He’s also made numerous appearances in the community, which he also did in Memphis during his short tenure.
One of New York’s most important players in the upcoming season will be Tim Hardaway Jr. He was the latest Knick to express how excited he is to play for Fizdale.
Another vote of confidence
“He’s respected around the league,’’ Hardaway said, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “He does bring that type of vibe and character around the team that makes you want to go out there and compete each and every day for him. That’s what we love about him.”
His relationship with Fizdale dates way back.
“I’ve known him since I was a kid,’’ Hardaway said. “When he was with the Miami Heat, my dad played there. Just the culture he’s going to bring to the team and his charisma and passion for the game, it’s going to rub off on us very well. We’re excited.’’
Overall, Hardaway believes in the talent around him and thinks Fizdale can help lead them to the playoffs in his first season there.
“All I know is we’re going to play team ball and get as many wins as possible so we can reach out goal and make the playoffs. We have a lot of talent,” Hardaway said. “That’s our goal. I see my team making the playoffs with coach Fiz and his new style of play and his attention to detail and holding everyone accountable. I feel we can get there.”
Overall, the Knicks seem to be in good hands. Fizdale has made quite the impression before spending a single game on the sidelines for his new club.News Now - Sport News