Ex-Knicks coach Dave Fizdale weighs in on Chris Paul trade rumor: ‘Great fit but…’

The New York Knicks need Chris Paul more than he needs them.

That’s how ex-Knicks head coach David Fizdale sees the situation, reacting to Paul’s trade rumors heading to New York.

“I think the Knicks have to be open to a lot of different things, Fizdale said on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Friday. “Would he be a great fit for them? Absolutely. I think he would fit those kids — Mitchell Robinson going to the rim, they get more spacing, more shooting. Absolutely, he would fit. The big stage. He doesn’t get sick,” Fizdale said.

Paul would present both a short-term and long-term fix for the Knicks.

The 10-time All-Star would instantly help repair the Knicks’ credibility and become the face of culture rebuilt in New York that may attract marquee free agents to come and join him. At the same time, he will also fast-tracked the developmental timeline of their young core and perhaps lift them into a fringe playoff contender. However, Fizdale doesn’t see why Paul should want to go to a rebuilding team like the Knicks.

“His position fits the young players that they have. Mitchell Robinson needs a Chris Paul. RJ Barrett needs a Chris Paul. Kevin Knox needs a Chris Paul. Because of the position placement that’s why I say he could end up, especially in the bottom of the East you don’t know what’s gonna happen. He could squeak in probably if they have a couple of little things here and there but for him, I just don’t think it’s the right move for what he’s trying to get out of his career,” Fizdale explained.

Terrible fit

Even his co-guests analysts ESPN Insider Amin Elhassan and Paul Pierce agree that it’s a terrible fit.

“Awful fit! Awful fit on so many levels,” Elhassan said. “Number one, the Knicks’ whole thing on the summer of 2019, we missed out, guess what 2021 big free agents on the way, let’s keep that flexibility. So every deal they signed was either a two-year deal or a one-year deal. By doing this deal, they basically say: ‘you know what? Nevermind 2021!’ The plan, although we may not agree with what they did short-term. But in the long-term, the idea of kicking the ball ahead of 2021, that something we can get on board of, and when you talk about Chris Paul at his age and that salary the last couple of years of his deal, it just doesn’t fit with the timeline the Knicks are on it.”

“And from Chris Paul’s perspective, what am I gonna do? I’m going to a team and help them be the eighth seed and get swept in the first round? That’s not what he’s looking at this point of his career.”

Pierce would have wished for Paul to be in New York earlier in his career, but not this time where he should be chasing for a ring.

“C’mon man, you’re talking about a vet who’s obviously would be a Hall of Famer and a team that’s on a rebuild, a guy looking to secure his legacy by winning a championship. It’s a terrible fit just like what Amin said,” Pierce said.

Been there, done that

Fizdale, though, sees the wisdom of trading for Paul even if it hurts the cap space of the Knicks for the loaded 2021 free agency.

“I think you can’t try to go big-game hunting all the time,’’ Fizdale said. “You may plan for 2021, and think, I got this money. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the guys. I went through it.”

Fizdale and the Knicks sounded confident last year ahead of the free agency that they would net Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving after dumping Kristaps Porzingis to create a space for two superstars. But their plan backfired when the duo went instead to their across-the-bridge rival Brooklyn Nets, much to the Knicks fan base’s consternation.

Fizdale subsequently got fired in the middle of a disappointing season that saw the Knicks ending up in the lottery again. Erstwhile team president Steve Mills would soon follow months later.

Stay on course

Scott Perry remained the Knicks’ general manager, and Fizdale hoped that the organization had learned their lesson. 

“I think you gotta be meticulous about building your team and not think you’re just gonna land these big sharks all the time and so if you acquire winning pieces along the way that fit into the mentality you’re trying to build on your team, the type of guys you want to bring in to build your culture, you snatch them up while you can,” Fizdale said.

“And if a big fish is out there, yeah, you take him, but that should not knock you off from what you’re trying to do, or you see opportunities to improve your team along the way until 2021, you should take those opportunities.”

Fizdale’s advice is to stay on course with what Mills and Perry have envisioned. It remains to be seen whether Leon Rose’s leadership will produce better results that would bring the Knicks back into relevancy.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Knicks officially hire Tom Thibodeau as head coach

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau

The New York Knicks announced on Thursday morning that they’ve hired Tom Thibodeau to be the 31st head coach in franchise history.

Team president Leon Rose calls Thibodeau a “proven winner” who brings “leadership” to the table.

“Tom Thibodeau is a proven winner who gets the most out of the players and teams that he has coached,” said Leon Rose, president, New York Knicks. “He will bring leadership, accountability and a hard-working mentality to our organization. We are excited to bring him back to New York and look forward to collaborating with him and his staff toward a successful future.”

Thibodeau says he’s “grateful” for the opportunity to coach the Knicks.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to this historic franchise as head coach and work alongside a talented front office that I have great trust in and respect for,” said Thibodeau. “I know what New York is like when the Knicks are successful and there is nothing comparable. I look forward to being a part of what we are building here and can’t wait to get to work.”

Thibodeau was most recently the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2016-19. Prior to patrolling the sidelines in Minnesota, Thibodeau was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 2010-15, where he won Coach of the Year honors in 2011.

Thibodeau has 20 seasons of experience as an assistant coach under his belt split between the Knicks, Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics.

The Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale 22 games into the 2019-20 NBA regular season (4-18) and promoted assistant Mike Miller. As interim head coach, Miller went 17-27.

President Steve Mills was fired in February and replaced by Leon Rose, who has retained general manager Scott Perry while hiring Walt Perrin as assistant general manager, William Wesley as executive vice president/senior basketball advisor and Tom Thibodeau as head coach.

New York Knicks Kevin Knox does play soft but not all the time

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox

Before the New York Knicks let David Fizdale go, was brutally honest about one young player.  Fizdale said that Kevin Knox sometimes plays “soft.”  While it most likely wasn’t said with bad intent, it could be interpreted that way.

Knox had an awful start to his second-year.  It didn’t help that the team added more power forwards to take away minutes from him.  Knox only averages 17.9 minutes per game so far this season.  But before the NBA season was suspended due to COVID-19, Knox’s game took a turn for the better.  He was able to show Knicks fans the talent is there, just need consistent minutes.

However, despite showing some glimmer of hope before the suspension, Knox does have a tendency to play soft.  There are numerous times during a game that he can be seen standing around the perimeter.  He goes in spurts with playing energized and making cuts for a big slam.  That’s the player the Knicks want.

His college coach John Calipari said that Knox was a ‘project’.  While Knicks fans knew that before the draft, the upside is what gives fans hope.  But the negatives throughout his career certainly out way the positives.

All areas of Knox’s game has decreased this season.  He seems very slow on his feet defensively and has trouble switching defenders.  He chases the defender more often than not which makes him a liability.  But he’s a player that needs confidence instilled within him to perform.  That’s what the Knicks need to do.

There are a few players that the Knicks passed on to take Knox in 2018, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is one.  Fans can play the ‘if what’ game if Knox doesn’t start to turn his career around.  Knox is only 20-years old and still has big potential.

He’ll need to find a consistency in his game before his rookie contract is in two seasons.  The New York Knicks will most likely pick up his options because they don’t want to give up on Knox just yet.

Thoughts on the New York Knicks season, if it’s over

The New York Knicks and rest of the NBA season is in question.  The season could resume in a month or two and it could jump right into the playoffs.  But, everything in the sports world is a giant question mark currently.

With that being said, if the NBA returns and goes right into the playoffs, the Knicks season would be over.  We can look back on the season and determine what were the positives, if any.

First off, Knicks fans are spoiled.  More so than any other fan base.  It’s New York so the expectations are to contend for a championship.  It doesn’t matter whether all teams were good or bad the season before.  They’re expected to be contenders each year.

This season for the Knicks started with big, optimistic expectations that quickly turned for the worst.  That is something that all fans know very well.  The season began with thoughts of the Knicks sneaking into the back-end of the playoffs.  But, after a 4-17 start and head coach David Fizdale fired, that quickly vanished.

While the players always said the right things about striving to get better and competing for a playoff spot, the realism was they were far from it.  All and all, it was a typical Knicks season.  Big expectations with awful results.

The Knicks had a bunch of good things that came out of this season but the negatives out way the positives.  Positives were the play of rookie RJ Barrett and his ability to show the all-star capabilities for the future.  Mitchell Robinson’s progression a player and work on committing fewer fouls.  And Julius Randle didn’t fit well with the Knicks in his first season despite good stats.

And towards the end of the season, the aggressiveness and positive progression of Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox.  Knox had a smaller sample size at the end after a disastrous start to the season but thankfully fans saw something.  While more in-depth grades and thoughts will come, the consensus of the New York Knicks season was another stinker.

New front office for the New York Knicks next year could change everything

New York Knicks, James Dolan

The New York Knicks need a change.  A change for the better.  With all of the commotion of the trade deadline, the Knicks have begun to make that change.

The Knicks will bring in CAA agent Leon Rose as the team’s next president.  Before that news broke, the organization hired Steve Stoute, a music executive and the founder of the ad agency Translation.  Stoute will help ‘re-brand’ the Knicks.  The team doesn’t need a re-brand.  They’re still one of the biggest names in the league but the way things have been going, anything helps.

With those two exciting hires for the Knicks, there could be one more looming.  Incoming team president, Leon Rose, reportedly wants to bring back one of the most beloved Knick coachesJeff Van Gundy.  While this is just a rumor for now, it would be the best case scenario for the team.

Those three individuals could change the course completely for the New York Knicks.  While it won’t be quick or easy but the organization can’t get any worse.

All three are very well-respected which is something they Knicks haven’t had in a while.  Well, David Fizdale was and still is respected around the league he was a little to buddy-buddy with his players.  He even admitted yesterday his flaws when leading the Knicks.

Rose, Stoute and Van Gundy gained recognition in their own way whether that’s through music, agent-player relationships or coaching.  Whatever it may be the Knicks needs a lot of fresh new voices and these could be them.

Bringing back Van Gundy would take a lot.  There’s always been rumors of him returning to coaching especially to the Knicks but, again, they’re all rumors.  He has one of the best gigs going currently being the lead calling games and he’s very good at it.  The stress of bringing the Knicks back to life would take a pretty penny.  However, Rose and ‘World Wide Wes’ might do whatever it takes.

The New York Knicks can be patient with young players only

The New York Knicks are completely dysfunctional.  The only positive thing that they have going for them is their young players.  The Knicks have a lot of pieces that could put them in the correct spot for the future.

A franchise can’t be good unless they are patient with their players.  The Knicks have been patient with players in recent memory.  For instance, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox.  And when they had him, Kristaps Porzingis.

Young players need time to develop.  In time, those players show some competence then a team can have a chance at free agents.  The Knicks were unable to do that last off-season but were able to keep their young assets.

Fans were upset over the Kristaps Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina selections at the time.  Porzingis blossomed into a superstar and Ntilikina is finally becoming a vital role player for the Knicks, after 3 years.  Recently, the Knicks drafted RJ Barrett.  He’s only 19-years-old and already showing signs that he could be a star for the Knicks down-the-line.

Despite all the turmoil with the front office and coaching, the Knicks are trying to build something.  Robinson, Barrett and Ntilikina continue to grow, on their way to being above-average players.  Kevin Knox continues to need more time but displayed glimpses of his progression over his rookie year, especially in shooting.

The New York Knicks will most likely have another top-5 draft pick next summer.  They’ll have another top pick to develop along with their other projects.  The Knicks will have a lot of young players that could be good, in time.  Patience with player development is needed now.

Also, the Knicks have a lot of veteran players that could be on the trading block.  Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson even Julius Randle.  Trade those players for younger assets and/or picks.  Randle most likely won’t be on the block but if they could get something positive for him, it should be discussed.

After some of the veteran guys are gone, the Knicks must only play the young players.  Then, they’ll have more then enough time to time to develop and get the experience to become something.  This season is rough and most likely next year will be too.  But, it’s something they Knicks have to do.

The future of the Knicks should consist of Barrett, Robinson, Ntilikina, Knox and the upcoming top-5 selection.

This guy is the next New York Knicks domino to be axed

The New York Knicks let David Fizdale go last week after an NBA worst 4-18 record.  His replacement, interim head coach Mike Miller.  The Knicks lost their opener with Miller at the helm but the team has bigger problems.

The executives for the New York Knicks have been very quiet.  Steve Mills and Scott Perry haven’t addressed the media since the Fizdale firing.  Could this awkward silence mean that one or both could be next on the chopping block?

Those two spoke to the media in November while laying the ‘framework’ to get rid of Fizdale.  Since then, they have been seen at games but yet to speak on behalf of the firing or team in general.  The only statement released about the Fizdale firing was through the Knicks public relations Twitter account.

Employee turnover for a sports franchise is never good.  A team cannot constantly being firing coaches and executives and except the team to all a sudden become good.  It takes time to build a winning franchise.  However, the Knicks continue to disappoint.  Firing people responsible is the only option.

Since Fizdale has been relived of his duties, the guy who could be next is Steve Mills.  Perry would most likely stay as he is still new to the franchise.  Well, so was Fizdale and look how that turned out.

You can’t fire the Knicks owner and selling the team doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon, so who’s next.  The general manager would and should be the next to go.

The Knicks only had three successful seasons in the past two decades and that was when Mills left.  They won 42 games in 2010-11, 36 in 2011-12 and 54 in 2012-13, making the playoffs in all 3.  Since Mills returned, they’ve gotten worse every season and haven’t been back to the playoffs.  The writing on the wall couldn’t be more clear.

Instead of chanting ‘Sell the team’, the fans need to be yelling ‘Fire Mills’ or ‘New Pres’!  If the Knicks don’t get rid of Mills, nothing will change.  Front office changes have to happen for this team to turn is around in the next decade.

New York Knicks have dismissed David Fizdale of his coaching duties

The New York Knicks have relieved David Fizdale of his head coaching role. ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski reports this afternoon.

Not only was Fizdale ousted, assistant coach Keith Smart was also let go.

This comes as now surprise to any Knicks fans.  The Knicks are 4-18 and have the second worst record in the NBA.  Their have been rumblings of firing Fizdale since November.

It all began when Steve Mills and Scott Perry said that ‘the framework has been laid out’ for the firing of coach Fizdale.  In his tenure with the New York Knicks, Fizdale went 21-83 in not even a season and a half.  That is a .201 winning percentage which is the worst in Knick history.

The Knicks were embarrassed in their last two games, losing by a combined 81 points.  At one point last night, the Knicks were down 43 points to the Denver Nuggets.  Boos rained down from the Garden and there were even some ‘Fire Fizdale’ chants.

The team has greatly under-performed and seem to be unmotivated to play for Fizdale despite players saying they back their coach.

Marcus Morris even declined to answer a question regarding the coaching after last night’s home court blowout.

The Knicks will now look to find someone who can motivate this team.  They have more talent than last season but can’t find how to properly execute the correct way on both ends of the floor.  Maybe, the next coach can get it out of these young and veteran players.

BREAKING: New York Knicks fire head coach David Fizdale

New York Knicks, David Fizdale

The New York Knicks have fired head coach David Fizdale after a disappointing 4-18 start the regular season. Fizdale was expected to help form a young core of players that consisted of PG Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Dennis Smith Jr., and others, but was unable to create a winning atmosphere through 22 games.

The reality is, Fizdale was given a roster in shambles to work with. The players had no chemistry and were loaded at the power forward position. He did very little to maximize the talent he did have on the roster. His lineups were poor on a daily basis and there was no consistency on the floor, regarding movement or shot selection.

This was a move the Knicks had to make after such a poor start. The Knicks also dismissed assistant Keith Smart, who spent a majority of the offseason working with Smith Jr. to refine his shot efficiency and selection.

Several days ago, Fizdale stated after a tough loss to the Nuggets, the effort his team displayed was “sickening.”

When asked about his job security:

“I don’t care about all of that, I don’t even think about that really,” Fizdale said.

Last month, Mills and general manager Scott Perry held a news conference to express their displeasure in regards to the team.

“Scott and I are not happy with where we are right now,” Mills said. “We think the team is not performing to the level that we anticipated or we expected to perform at, and that’s something that we think we collectively have to do a better job of delivering the product on the floor.”

22 games in & New York Knicks fans have seen enough

New York Knicks, James Dolan

This New York Knicks season has gotten out of hand.  Twenty-two games in and fans are ready to move onto the next coaching chapter for this team.

Last night’s game against the Denver Nuggets has to be the tipping point.  The Knicks got embarrassed on their home floor, again.  At one point, the Knicks were down 43 points in the fourth quarter, ultimately losing 129-92.

In the last two games, the Knicks have lost by a combined 81 points.  That’s pathetic.

After the game, head coach David Fizdale called the lose ‘sickening’.  That was correct choice of words.  Fizdale actually said something that Knicks fans can agree with.

The Garden faithful were booing after the third quarter and rightfully so.  Fans were very vocal at the game and on Twitter about their head coach.  Fans were wondering why they still watch.  They were also wondering when Fizdale is going to be firedAfter the game?  First thing in the morning or mid-day?  Possibilities are endless.  But it’s coming.

One thing is true though.  New York Knicks fans are the most ride or die fans in the world.  In this sequence, the Knicks were down 29 and they were still cheering on their team.  That takes dedication, especially to those fans that still go to all these games.

Knicks fans will cheer for anything too.  At one point during the game, the fans were booing but then the cheerleaders starting to throw t-shirts and the fans starting cheering.  This fan base is dying for a competitive team, and a free t-shirt.  It doesn’t even have to be a winning team, just competitive.

Yes, the Knicks have been competitive in a majority of their games this season.  They fought and battled but couldn’t find a way to sneak out wins in those close games.  But, the last few games have been atrocious.

After the game, players mentioned how they aren’t going to give up and how they need to stick together.  While that all sounds good, it’s obvious that Fizdale lost the locker room or the players had enough.  Whatever it may be, it’s time for a coaching change for the Knicks before it gets worse.