New York Knicks center Enes Kanter recently appeared on MSG Network. Kanter revealed one of David Fizdale’s most important traits.
NBA players are no different from humans who work other jobs in the sense that they don’t often like to hear the harsh truth. Learning that we have a poor character or behavioral trait isn’t exactly a pleasant experience, even if it does ultimately lead to necessary change.
As the New York Knicks prepare for a 2018-19 season that’s shaping up to be more promising than previously believed, however, the players are embracing their rude awakenings.
When the Knicks hired David Fizdale as head coach, the move was praised by the many who labeled him a player’s coach. The misinterpretation of that statement, however, implied that Fizdale was someone whom the modern athlete would simply get along with.
Enes Kanter clarified the reputation, however, by stating that Fizdale is one of the few who will tell a player what they need to hear—and not want they want to hear.
We often remove the human element from sports, but it’s as important as any athletic gift or skill possibly could be.
There are players and coaches who bottle up their feelings, much as there are non-NBA humans who do the same about those in their lives. When they can no longer keep those emotions in, what could’ve been a brief confrontation that leads to change turns into something far worse.
The longer someone lives with the illusion that what they’re doing is correct, the more difficult it becomes for them to escape it.
The more confrontational the tone when they’re called out for what they need to improve upon, the less likely it is that they’ll take the words to heart.
This is what separates legendary head coaches from those who know the game, but can’t keep a job. Every person requires different forms of communication, but the theme must remain the same: A constant strive for improvement.
With Fizdale, it will no longer be a matter of shouting matches that result from suppressed emotions—it will be a matter of acting to address the flaws he readily identifies.
Having gained perspective from his experience with Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies, David FIzdale is already off to an excellent start to his New York Knicks career.