Something that we have all observed over the years is that while Marc Berman is not literally a Charlie Rosen/Phil Jackson-style mouthpiece for Knicks President of Basketball Operations, Steve Mills, he is certainly willing to be the guy that Mills can come to when he wants send a message through a Berman article. We’ve seen it a number of times over the years, most prominently during Phil Jackson’s tenure as the Mills’ predecessor as the PoBO, where Berman wrote enthusiastic things about Jackson early on and then tore him down later on, when Mills’ knife was stuck firmly in the Big Galoot’s back (Phil Jackson was terrible and should have been fired and Steve Mills backstabbed Phil Jackson to get him fired can both be true, ya know?).
So while most media ramblings can be easily ignored, a hit piece on David Fizdale from Marc Berman tends to have a bit more “heft” to it and that’s certainly what this is…
Knicks coach David Fizdale is not just being judged on the won-loss record, according to sources.
Progress is the company buzzword, which means a lot of things. But progress of their young players is the guts of it.
As the Knicks gear up for a Black Friday showdown vs. the 76ers following a brutal rout in Toronto on Wednesday in which they fell behind by 34 points, the advancement of their blue-chippers have seemingly hit a brick wall.
Fizdale’s desperation may have been revealed by staging a marathon closed-door meeting after the game.
The Knicks’ 4-14 record is the same as last season’s clip at this juncture. None of it bodes well for Fizdale finishing out his second season — unless owner James Dolan blows it all up in taking down president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and their staff.
Mills hired Fizdale because of his reputation as a player developmental guru. Firing Fizdale would make Mills and Perry look foolish for erring so famously on such an important hire after firing Jeff Hornacek.
And yes, as an article leaked by Mills shows, the fact that Mitchell Robinson is listed fourth on a “Here’s a snapshot of the eight young players who matter most (eat your turkey first)” list is damning of Mills (and perhaps Perry? Who knows?). Note that the players listed above them are the two lottery picks made by Mills and Perry and the guy they acquired in the Porzingis trade. In other words, players whose success or failure directly affects people’s perceptions of Mills and Perry. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.