Fizdale named Knicks coach
David Fizdale has been hired as coach of the Knicks, saying he is hoping to “build the type of winning team the passionate fans of New York will be proud of.”
The Knicks announced the hiring on Monday after agreeing to terms with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach last week. They plan to introduce Fizdale at a news conference today.
Fizdale went 50-51 with the Grizzlies, leading them to the postseason in his only full season before getting fired early last year after clashing with star center Marc Gasol. He becomes the 29th coach in franchise history, hoping to lead the Knicks out of what is now a 5-year postseason drought.
He replaces Jeff Hornacek, who lasted 2 seasons in New York before getting fired hours after the season finale.
The Knicks cited Fizdale’s leadership, experience and expertise in player development in a news release announcing the hiring. Fizdale spent 8 years as an assistant in Miami, helping the Heat win 2 National Basketball Association titles.
“I appreciate the enormous responsibility it is to coach the Knicks and am ready to give my all to build the type of winning team the passionate fans of New York will be proud of,” he said in the release.
Fizdale, 43, also was an assistant for 4 seasons in Atlanta and 1 in Golden State.
Elsewhere, Stan Van Gundy was fired as coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons on Monday, unable to turn the struggling NBA club into a consistent winner.
The Pistons went 152-176 in 4 campaigns under Van Gundy.
Detroit went 44-38 in 2015-16 for the team’s only playoff appearance since 2009, being swept out by Cleveland in the first round. The Pistons last won an NBA playoff game in a 2008 run to the Eastern Conference finals.
“We have decided that this change is necessary to take our basketball organization to the next level,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said. “This was a very difficult decision and we did not come to it lightly.”
The departure of Van Gundy, who had 1 year left on his contract, leaves the Pistons with 2 holes to fill, coaching and organizing team personnel.
“His presence and leadership helped move this franchise forward,” Gores said of Van Gundy. “Although we did not get the success both of us wanted, his efforts and leadership have put the franchise in better shape today than when he came on board.”