New York Knicks firing David Fizdale is weak attempt at a quick fix

David Fizdale, New YOrk Knicks (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
David Fizdale, New YOrk Knicks (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks have entered doomsday mode just 10 games into the season, and it could reportedly cost coach David Fizdale his job soon.

The New York Knicks are in a freefall, losing eight of their first 10 games of the season. The most recent defeat—a blowout at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers—sparked an unusual press conference from president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry, along with a desperate head coach, David Fizdale, speaking to save his job.

Well, Fizdale may be ousted sooner than later if the front office has its way. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews, Mills has “started to lay the internal groundwork” for Fizdale’s eventual firing.

Despite the 2-8 start, Mills is selling owner James Dolan on “a roster constructed to be highly competitive in the Eastern Conference,” thus leaving Fizdale in trouble. The presser also was seen as an undermining of Fizdale.

Just like that, the Knicks’ 2019-20 season is in disarray.

Fizdale’s potential ouster has the Knicks looking at their fourth head coach to be fired in the last five years—a troubling sign of a lack of continuity and falling below expectations. This organization has looked for a fix to its long-standing problems for years, and cycling through head coaches has been at the forefront.

Firing Fizdale only puts yet another scapegoat into the position, only for that person to likely be replaced by a full-time hire for 2020-21. Just rewatch Sunday’s presser. Mills threw Fizdale under the bus, not taking blame for the roster he put together. The process is repetitive, and another coach could step in between 1-2 years later.

Meanwhile, for all the talk of making the Knicks a more desirable destination, potentially backing off yet another coach, managing a roster constructed by Dolan’s assigned front office, will not help. Look at what the crosstown Brooklyn Nets just did; Kenny Atkinson was allowed to coach through a two-year stretch of a combined 48 wins, before making the postseason with 42 victories in the 2018-19 season. The result of patience to find success: signing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

The Knicks force themselves to not afford that patience luxury. They can if they want to, but the desire for quick fixes to salvage poorly created situations is their own doing. Firing Fizdale now, whether or not he is the guy to lead this team into the future, only contributes to that issue. Mills sees this as a competitive roster, so the next coach up will clean everything up, right? Is that what’s supposed to happen?

Promoting an assistant on an interim basis will not solve all. Neither will a trade after Dec. 15, when free agents signed in the 2019 offseason can move. It will take years of reconfiguring to salvage this organization’s image, and while the 2018-19 season was a minor step towards that, changing coaches to start a cycle of more abrupt changes sets them back.

Maybe all of this is why Kristaps Porzingis requested out of New York.

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The New York Knicks are not an attractive situation right now. Not for a coach. Not for a player. Not for the fans. This is a dysfunctional group, and if firing Fizdale is seen as the solution, it will represent the same old Knicks the NBA has grown to know and, rightfully, mock.