New York Knicks: Is David Fizdale the right coach for potential superteam?

New York Knicks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

If the New York Knicks have a superteam for next season, is David Fizdale the right head coach for this?

Let’s assume the New York Knicks’ dreams do indeed come true and they’re able to land a Zion, Kyrie, Durant combo.  Is David Fizdale the right coach to lead this championship contending team?

The pros:

Fizdale has always been a well respected “players coach”, dating back to his time as an assistant coach during the LeBron James-Miami Heat days. His experience coaching the ‘Big 3’ in Miami is definitely an advantage as he is no stranger to coaching huge personalities with tremendous expectations.

Also on Fizdale’s resume should include the tremendous job he’s done in grooming the raw 2nd round pick Mitchell Robinson into a potential force in the paint. To begin the season Robinson looked lost at times and was consistently in foul trouble which kept him off the court, something he has significantly improved as the season has progressed.  Not only has Fizdale straightened out his foul woes, it now appears that Mitchell Robinson has a significantly better grasp of the game of basketball in comparison to the beginning of his rookie season.

Fizdale also made it a mission this season to restore the confidence of Emmanuel Mudiay, who has quietly made tremendous leaps this year and could serve as a viable backup point guard behind either Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker.

In addition to his experience coaching superstars and his successful development of young players, it’s widely believed around the league that players want to play for him, which can be an instrumental factor in luring big-name free agents. But what about once the super-team is actually formed?

The cons:

His experience coaching top talent in Memphis didn’t exactly go well, demonstrated by his public beef with Marc Gasol.  But it’s tough to say who was really to blame in that situation. David Fizdale compares very similarly to Mark Jackson. Both viewed more as “Ra-Ra” guys than “Xs and O’s” type coaches, like a Brad Stevens for example.

Although Jackson helped form and develop the young Golden State Warriors, you can clearly see the offensive difference under coach Steve Kerr.

If Kevin Durant actually chooses New York then it’s imperative that Fizdale is capable of drawing up an offense that moves that ball.  Keep in mind, Durant chose to leave a talented Thunder team that played mostly isolation offense in exchange for the Golden State Warriors who play beautiful, almost artistic offense that is centered around ball movement.  Durant will almost certainly prefer an offense that mirrors the style of the Warriors as he shifts towards the tail end of his career.

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The question remains: Will Fizdale be a “development” coach like a Jackson or will he be able to successfully manage a championship contending team like Steve Kerr? For New York Knicks fans, maybe it’s wise to take this one step at a time, starting with the securing of the first overall pick. May the ping pong balls be in New York’s favor.