From Ian Begley, who has been on fire this season since moving to SNY:
The lingering question after the Knicks’ 44-point loss in Milwaukee is this: how much longer will David Fizdale be on the sidelines?
We don’t have a definitive answer, but one member of the organization said late last month that he expected management to fire Fizdale soon, per SNY sources. The person who expressed the thought isn’t someone who would make the decision to fire Fizdale. But the idea that a member of the Knicks believes a coaching change is coming says a lot about the level of uncertainty in New York right now.
As you know, there has been speculation about Fizdale’s job status for several weeks amid New York’s 4-17 start.
Begley goes further, though, to suggest that MIlls and Perry would be in danger if the replacement coach doesn’t improve things. Begley also notes:
One more note on the owner: Dolan certainly deserves criticism for the Knicks’ pre-Phil Jackson struggles and how he’s handled some things off the court (the Anucha Browne Sanders case and the Charles Oakley incident, for example). But blaming Dolan for how things have gone awry with the Knicks recently is misguided. For the most part, he’s let Mills and Perry make every basketball decision without influence, just as he did with Jackson.
Dolan certainly expected the Knicks to land stars in free agency this summer, as he said in an interview on ESPN radio late in the season. It’s safe to assume that he thought they would do well in free agency based on information he’d heard from Knicks management. The statements from Dolan look foolish in the wake of New York’s disappointing free agency, but he didn’t pluck the idea that they’d land stars out of thin air.
Presumably, Dolan was then told that New York would be better this season thanks to the free agents that were acquired. That hasn’t happened. Any owner would be angry over the results.
I agree with the general “If Dolan were to cede control to a smart basketball mind, then this could actually work” position, but that’s not really a defense of Dolan, as the fact remains that he A. hasn’t done that yet and B. he has stuck with Mills and Perry despite it being pretty plainly obvious that they’re not the best bet for him.
The sad thing, though, is that there might not be a worthy replacement for Mills out there. Most NBA executives are mediocre at best. The good ones tend to be held on to like pirate treasure (unless your asshole son thinks he’s smarter than one of the best executives in the business. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Groenke). I suppose Daryl Morey might get fired over that whole Hong Kong deal. Or maybe Masai Ujiri might actually be available? Those are two of the only great minds in the NBA who I think have a big enough profile that you could convince Dolan to give over control of the organization to them.