The New York Knicks have come to terms on a four-year deal with David Fizdale, making him their next head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Following a two-year stint under Jeff Hornacek who finished with a 60-104 record and failed to help lead the franchise to a playoff appearance, the Knicks conducted an exhaustive search to find their next head coach. As many as ten candidates were reportedly interviewed for the job, including former Golden State Warriors coach and Knicks guard Mark Jackson, former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, short-lived Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, former Toronto Raptors G-League coach Jerry Stackhouse, and TNT analyst Kenny Smith.
In the days leading up to their final decision, the Knicks narrowed down their list to Fizdale, Blatt, and Budenholzer. What prompted New York to choose the former Memphis Grizzlies coach over the rest of the pack will be something the front office will address in his introductory press conference. In a little more than one season with the Grizzlies, Fizdale had a 50-51 record and took the team to a playoff appearance where they were eliminated in the first round. Following the Grizzlies’ 7-12 start in the 2017-18 campaign, Fizdale was fired by the organization. “After a thorough evaluation, I decided a change in course was necessary to move forward and provide the team and organization its best chance at success this season and beyond,” Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement in response to the firing.
Even though Wallace and the Grizzlies’ front office attempted to portray the Fizdale firing as the organization heading in a different direction, it was no secret that his tumultuous relationship with center Marc Gasol was beyond repair. With the Knicks, Fizdale can start his next head coaching job with a clean slate. New York hopes to do the same as they step further away from the damaging Phil Jackson regime. It's a win-win situation for both sides.