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Analyzing Knicks' Recent Head Coaching Failures After David Fizdale's Firing

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

New York Knicks Head coach David Fizdale argues a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

The New York Knicks reportedly have fired another head coach. 

On Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the 4-18 Knicks fired David Fizdale.

It appears as if the tipping point was the last two games when they lost by 44 points to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday and 37 points to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. While this was supposed to be a rebuilding season, they have underperformed despite having potential building blocks in RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Frank Ntilikina on the roster.

Fizdale was not given much time, but it is difficult to call his tenure with the Knicks that lasted less than two seasons anything but a failure.

He went 17-65 in his first campaign and got off to an abysmal start this year. This is his second head coaching job and the second time he was fired in the early portion of his second season. He made the playoffs with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2016-17 only to be fired after a 7-12 start in 2017-18.

Marc Stein of the New York Times noted Fizdale's .202 winning percentage is the lowest of the 29 coaches in Knicks history.

However, as Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports pointed out, he is far from the only Knicks coach to fail since Pat Riley's tenure ended in 1995:

Tom Haberstroh @tomhaberstroh

David Fizdale Jeff Hornacek Derek Fisher Kurt Rambis Mike Woodson Isiah Thomas Larry Brown Herb Williams Lenny Wilkins Don Chaney

New York hasn't made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season with Mike Woodson at the helm, and it fired him when he went 37-45 the following season. From there, Derek Fisher went 17-65 in 2014-15 and was fired after a 23-31 start in 2015-16.

Kurt Rambis went 9-19 as an interim coach and then criticized Fisher for not dedicating the amount of time necessary for the team to learn the triangle offense.

"If you want to learn something and truly learn something, you have to immerse yourself in it," Rambis said, per Al Iannazzone of Newsday. "We didn't fully immerse ourselves into practicing it, developing it, learning how to work with it, going through the breakdown drills to execute it properly, so we kind of skirted over things. The real learning process of it didn't have enough time to take place."

Jeff Hornacek was the head coach before Fizdale and was fired following two straight losing seasons and a 60-104 record.

Owner James Dolan's franchise is not exactly a model of consistency or job security at this point. Marquee free agents such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have snubbed them for other teams despite the hypothetical lure of playing in the Big Apple, and the future doesn't exactly look that bright.

Best of luck to the next coach.