David Fizdale’s hot seat appears to be cooling off, but there is more to this New York Knicks head coaching story.
After an impromptu press conference by New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry and team president Steve Mills, it looked like David Fizdale‘s days in New York were numbered. However, he seems to have a new lease on life after a recent uptick in play from his team.
That being said, there are more factors in play with Fizdale’s job security. Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that promoting assistants like Jud Buechler, Keith Smart or Kaleb Canales is a “major deterrent” to firing Fizdale.
Although there was clearly some pressure on Fizdale to turn things around after the horrid 2-9 start to the season, there is no clearly defined backup plan.
Smart has the most extensive head coaching experience. In four seasons as a head coach, Smart has compiled a record of 93-170 (.354) and never put together a winning season.
Jud Buechler has served as an assistant since 2016, but never as a head coach. Kaleb Canales, on the other hand, was Portland’s interim head coach during the 2011-12 season.
Of course, without any “home run” candidate currently on staff, firing Fizdale midseason remains a risky proposition. Axing Fiz could backfire and send the team a downward spiral that would be difficult to bounce back from.
Moreover, Fizdale’s 21-76 record as head coach of the Knicks is a bit misleading. The 2018-19 roster was doomed from the beginning. It’s hard to hold that abysmal season against Fizdale considering the lackluster talent available to the head coach.