David Fizdale’s firing closed the book on all the New York Knicks coaches to be employed in the 2010s. How do they stack against each other this decade?
On Friday, the New York Knicks removed David Fizdale as head coach and replaced him with Mike Miller, who became the seventh coach of the 2010s. This followed a 4-18 record and teases of a coaching change being in the works for the previous three weeks.
The 2010s marked a wild time for Knicks coaches. Through the names that led the bench, some of them took this organization to the playoffs and others finished with the worst records in franchise history.
As this decade nears its end, and with not enough time to evaluate Miller’s coaching, it’s time to stack each Knicks head coach of the 2010s against each other:
6. Kurt Rambis (9-19)
Kurt Rambis was Derek Fisher‘s replacement for the final 28 games of the 2015-16 season, so there’s not too much to expand on. The team was a mess beforehand, and a 9-19 record did not show much improvement, even with Carmelo Anthony and a rookie Kristaps Porzingis.
Rambis remained on the staff through 2018, before taking a front-office role with the Los Angeles Lakers.
5. Derek Fisher (40-96)
While he does not own the worst winning percentage of these coaches, Derek Fisher’s tenure with the New York Knicks featured drama and terrible on-court play.
In October 2015, Fisher was involved in an altercation with former NBA player Matt Barnes, whose estranged wife was with the then-Knicks coach. Per the New York Post, it was as wild of a scene as anyone could have imagined:
"“Barnes went crazy. He got in his car and went to the house and went after Fisher,” one source said. “Matt then drove down there to beat the s–t out of him.”"
That was just off the court, though. For the actual team play, Fisher coached the 2014-15 Knicks to a franchise-worst 17-65 record. Granted, Carmelo Anthony only played 40 games, and Phil Jackson traded Iman Shumpert and JR Smith was basically nothing. Still, to find so few wins as a result, along with failing to integrate Jackson’s triangle offense, led to his quick demise.
Fisher stayed for the first 54 games of 2015-16, but he was shown the door after a 23-31 record. Per ESPN, the Knicks did not think he transitioned to coaching effectively.
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Fisher was also not ready to coach an NBA team, having jumped straight from playing games for the Oklahoma City Thunder. If not for Jackson’s call, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, this five-time champion would have stayed in the NBA for another year:
"“I was literally on the fence. Had [Phil Jackson] not called, then more than likely the pursuit of a sixth NBA championship would have called my name more than trying to go into coaching or TV at that time.”"
Now with the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, Fisher has a second chance at coaching. However, his short tenure in New York highlights one of a few unsettling parts of this decade.