The New York Knicks signed numerous veterans to help supplement the inexperience on the team this offseason. The foundation of the roster is young and still learning their roles on the team. Players like RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson will all feature regularly during the 2019-20 season, and while the veterans will be leaned on to make a difference, it ultimately comes down to head coach, David Fizdale.
Fiz is one of the league’s more lax and personable coaches, as he focuses on building trustworthy relationships with his players rather than aggressively dictate over them. He finds that more positive relationships help the players understand his motives and his plan to achieve success.
That factor alone wasn’t powerful enough to land superstars like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving. The Knicks sold player development this offseason as their more valuable offering to players, but it only managed to lure in players like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris. Both are capable professionals that can influence a game, but their impact is minimal compared to options like KD and Irving.
It’s not difficult to see the Knicks’ struggles over the past few seasons, and a majority of the players they let walk in free agency this year barely earned minimum contracts on other clubs. The only player, the Knicks, were interested in bringing back was DeAndre Jordan, who took his talents to Brooklyn.
“Not to knock the culture the Knicks are creating, but we like what Kenny’s doing and Sean’s been awesome and the organization, from top to bottom, has been great,” Jordan said. “So you want to be a part of something like that, especially when you have a chance to play with other great players and build something.”
The realistic approach towards a successful Knicks team starts from the head coaching position. He’s the catalyst behind convincing premium talent to join the ranks and revitalize a lost organization.