5. Trusting David Fizdale
The New York Knicks hired David Fizdale for a vast array of reasons, but it boiled down to one significant truth. Fizdale understands the modern athlete better than most, and the Knicks desperately needed a coach who could build relationships.
As stated by Enes Kanter himself, one of the reasons Fizdale has coached in the NBA for more than a decade is his willingness to tell players the cold hard truth.
The Knicks need more of that from an individual who’s actually at the facilities on a day-to-day basis.
When Kanter re-signed with the Knicks, it was established that he did so because he believes in the vision. That could be perceived as an endorsement of Steve Mills and Scott Perry, but it’s also a comment about the recently hired head coach.
Fizdale has already encouraged Kanter to take more three-point field goals, and demanded that he improve on defense—two weaknesses that the 26-year-old must address.
Furthermore, Kanter is the second player who pointed directly at Fizdale when discussing why he chose to play for the Knicks in 2018-19. Recent signee Mario Hezonja recently acknowledged that Fizdale was the driving force behind his decision to come to New York.
If the Kanter and Hezonja signings prove anything, it’s that Fizdale’s influence can be felt by the players—and they haven’t even gotten to training camp yet.