New York Knicks: Ranking the 6 head coaches of the 2010s

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

4. David Fizdale (21-83)

David Fizdale did not survive as long as Fisher, nor did he have as many wins, but the former was never given much to work with in his 19 months as New York Knicks coach.

2018-19 was deemed a “developmental” season for the Knicks. They started the young players after just five games, quickly realizing the state of the roster. Of course the talented top of the 2019 NBA Draft loomed, featuring Duke’s Zion Williamson, adding incentive to losing. Plus, the front office eyed the upcoming offseason of superstar free agents, using the Kristaps Porzingis trade to unload long-term salaries.

As a result, Fizdale tied Fisher’s franchise-low 17-65 record.

Never a doubt about his status, Fizdale returned for 2019-20, with a fresh roster in place. However, that, too, was questionably constructed. A glut of forwards was acquired, en route to a 4-18 record and an awkward press conference after his 2-8 start to the season. So, on Dec. 6, the Knicks fired Fizdale.

There are two sides to the coin, though.

Fizdale’s rotations were always in question. Even in the punted 2018-19 season, he struggled to stick with one group of players and consistently bounced others in and out of the rotation, including Frank Ntilikina. The same happened for 2019-20, as young players, sans RJ Barrett, took a backseat for the short-term veteran acquisitions. That included Allonzo Trier‘s continuous absences via coach’s decision and Kevin Knox‘s fading role.

The offense never came around either. A lack of ball movement plagued both iterations, leading to isolation basketball. Despite Fizdale preaching his desire to move away from this, it never happened. His use of Julius Randle didn’t help, as the $62.3 million man became a too-frequent facilitator, and he never seemed comfortable as the offense’s focal point.

Fizdale’s time in New York was hardly perfect, but some of it was not his doing. His tenure wasn’t memorable, however, and will mark just another footnote of this decade.