Finally. A reason for legitimate hope for the New York Knicks.
With every move he makes, David Fizdale is proving that he is the right man to lead the Knicks out of their miserable cycle of false hope and mistakes.
David Fizdale is not handing starting spots to anybody, not even Hardaway or Kanter. Why? “You keep what you kill.” Damn. More here:https://t.co/9mRT4JQJfa— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) July 5, 2018
When a new coach comes to town, it's crucial they create the right culture, especially when they're taking over an organization that's been the laughingstock of the league for the better part of a decade. Fizdale recently announced that no one is being promised a starting spot this season, rather players will "keep what they kill." Talk about a change of pace from the Zen Master Phil Jackson and nondescript Jeff Hornacek.
Additionally, Fizdale has spoken about the Knicks embracing a move the rest of the NBA has adopted by playing "position-less" basketball. You can't win in this league by playing the triangle offense. It's not 1994 and Michael Jordan is not walking through those doors. You win by embracing the versatility of guys like Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina.
Frank Ntilikina watched yesterday's practice over breakfast with David Fizdale this morning. Fizdale is starting to teach Ntilikina how the coach sees the game. Here's Fizdale talking about whether he sees Ntilikina as a point guard. https://t.co/wI3CHhLIkj pic.twitter.com/6MXhUrbUBO— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) July 4, 2018
Like any good coach should, Fizdale has been quickly establishing a rapport with his lead guard. If Fizdale can unlock Ntilikina's potential as the dynamic perimeter threat to pair with Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks will finally have a young core they can confidently build around. Ever since Amar'e Stoudemire's career went downhill fast, the Knicks have had no real direction or path forward as it was clear that Carmelo Anthony could not win on his own.
Still, Fizdale is vocal in acknowledging that New York needs more talent if they want to win. He's not going to lie through his teeth and pretend that the Knicks have the pieces in place to contend. This blunt honesty is what the organization needs to keep players on their toes and make sure no one gets complacent.
The Knicks have a poor track record with the hiring and firing of coaches, but fans finally have a reason to be excited about who will be manning the sideline for New York this year.