The New York Knicks have sacked head coach David Fizdale, the struggling NBA franchise announced. New York dismissed Fizdale on Friday, with the Knicks a conference-worst 4-18 for the season amid an eight-game losing streak.
Assistant coach Mike Miller will take over on an interim basis as the Knicks prepare to face the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. "Today, head coach David Fizdale and assistant coach Keith Smart were relieved of their coaching duties," a statement read. "Assistant coach Mike Miller has been named interim head coach."
The Knicks hired former Memphis Grizzlies coach Fizdale in 2018 but the 45-year-old was 21-83 in less than two seasons at the helm. New York – which missed out on a big free-agent signing having been linked to Kevin Durant – have not made the playoffs since 2012-13.
- Popovich slams Knicks for 'ridiculous' decision to fire Fizdale -
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich criticised the New York Knicks' decision to sack Fizdale. Fizdale oversaw 21 wins and 83 losses during his tenure in New York. Responding to Fizdale's departure, five-time champion Popovich slammed the Knicks.
"I don't know where the decision was made to fire coach Fizdale, but if it came from the top, it's a case of mistaken identity," Popovich said via NBA.com.
"He's a fine, talented young coach with a great pedigree, and it's ridiculous to think you're gonna bring a young guy in and after being there a minute and a half, you expect him to fix everything that's been wrong there for a long time. That's pretty unfair. So, it's the old analogy: he got thrown under the bus. He'll come out of it because he's a great coach."
- Warriors' Kerr reacts to Knicks sacking Fizdale: That would've been me three years ago -
Steve Kerr said he is happy he chose the Golden State Warriors over the New York Knicks following Fizdale's firing. Kerr was wanted by the Knicks in 2014, but the former Chicago Bulls guard opted for the Warriors.
Three championships later and Warriors coach Kerr is pleased with the decision he made five years ago. "If I had gone to New York, that would've been me like three years ago. I'm well aware of that," Kerr told reporters as he reacted to Fizdale's departure. "It's just the way it goes. I think I made the right choice."
Kerr, whose Warriors (4-19) are struggling in the absence of injured stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson following Kevin Durant's switch to the Brooklyn Nets, added: "As we know in this business it's extremely fragile.
"Your job is dependent on a lot of things when you're a coach in this league. Number one probably is the talent that you're able to coach, but just as important is the strength of the organisation and the group around you. And it takes a really strong organisation to help coaches and help players get through difficult times."