San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich offered his thoughts on the New York Knicks’ decision to fire David Fizdale.
When Gregg Popovich speaks, people listen. The NBA coaching fraternity tends to protect their own and Popovich’s response to the New York Knicks firing of David Fizdale is about what you would expect from the legendary coach.
“I don’t know where the decision was made to fire Coach Fizdale, but if it came from the top, it’s a case of mistaken identity,” Popovich said via Michael C. Wright of NBA.com. “He’s a fine, talented young coach with a great pedigree, and it’s ridiculous to think you’re gonna bring a young guy in and after being there a minute and a half, you expect him to fix everything that’s been wrong there for a long time. That’s pretty unfair. So it’s the old analogy: He got thrown under the bus. He’ll come out of it because he’s a great coach. I’m glad you asked.”
Popovich brought this up unprompted. Clearly, this was something he wanted to get off his chest. Again, it’s no surprise to see a fellow NBA head coach rush to the defense of a younger coach who was recently ousted.
Of course, Popovich and Fizdale work in a results-based business and the latter didn’t have the results. That doesn’t mean that all the blame should fall on Fizdale’s shoulders, but any time there is going to be an overhaul in an organization, the head coach is usually one of the first dominoes to fall.
For better or worse, Fizdale is losing his job over the Knicks’ 4-18 start. However, he’s still a well-respected coach throughout the league and he should find a job as an assistant somewhere soon.