David Fizdale endured an unceremonious end to his tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies, but he was a hot name among the coaches looking for new work for the 2018-19 season. The New York Knicks did not waste any time, as they agreed to make Fizdale their next head coach.
Fizdale, who gained notoriety as a top assistant with the Miami Heat during their championship years with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, will be tasked with turning around a struggling Knicks franchise. According to ESPN, he is set to sign a four-year deal, where he will take over for Jeff Hornacek.
Fizdale becomes the fifth head coach for the Knicks since the start of the 2010-11 season, and the 11th since the 2001-02 season.
The Knicks’ hiring process was quite extensive, as a number of names were rumored to be the favorite for the job. Other candidates like Mike Budenholzer, James Borrego, Ime Udoka, Steve Clifford, David Blatt, Jerry Stackhouse, and Mark Jackson could also be in the running for other head coaching positions.
Fizdale was also a candidate with Orlando, Atlanta, and Charlotte. There is some expectation that Budenholzer will be a top candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Fizdale has developed a strong reputation in league circles, even though he battled with star Grizzlies center Marc Gasol prior to his dismissal. He certainly has a vote of confidence from Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.
"He's a brilliant basketball mind that has exceptional, gold-standard level communication skills," Spoelstra said. "He's one of my best friends. But I say that objectively. I just think he's one of the most talented coaches I've been around."
ESPN added that Fizdale would soon travel to Latvia to meet with New York’s franchise player, Kristaps Porzingis.
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