Knicks President reportedly angling for Fizdale's firing.
The New York Knicks entered the 2019-20 season without any real playoff expectations but the fans, and management, had hoped that they'd be at least a little more competitive than they've shown thus far. Following Sunday night's blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at home, Knicks general manager Scott Perry and team President Steve Mills addressed the media, and stressed the lack of a "consistent level of effort and execution."
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews, the timing of the new conference was considered by those around Madison Square Garden and the league to be "a complete undermining" of head coach David Fizdale. In fact, Woj notes that Steve Mills had begun planting the seeds for Fizdale's firing even before Sunday's dud.
Fizdale is in his second season of a four-year, $22 million contract with the Knicks, but he may not make it through year 2 if Mills convinces team owner James Dolan that their current roster should be much more competitive in the Eastern Conference.
Rival coaches and executives see a mismatched Knicks roster slow of foot, without legitimate NBA guard play, but Mills is selling Dolan on a poorly coached team that is underachieving at 2-8 to start the season, league sources said.
"Everyone is moving to their positions now," a league source close to management and the coaching staff told ESPN. "This is how they'll make (Fizdale) the fall guy."
Mills took over as President of the Knicks in 2017, following the departure of Phil Jackson, and he hasn't helped the cause either. The Knicks have gone through five head coaches during Mills' tenure with an overall record of 165-337. Through 10 games this season the Knicks (2-8) are tied with the injury-riddled Golden State Warriors for the worst record in the league.
Is Fizdale partly to blame for their lack of effort and execution, especially against bad teams at home? Yes. But the Knicks just simply aren't that good right now and using Fiz as a scapegoat for their early season struggles isn't going to solve any problems. The Knicks' issues, as have been the case for literally decades now, start at the top of the organization.
Up next for New York is a road game against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, followed by Kristaps Porzingis' highly anticipated return to MSG on Thursday, November 14.