Fresh off being hired by the New York Knicks to be their new head coach, David Fizdale is already putting in the work to turn around a long fledgling organization.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, that includes a planned trip to Kristaps Porzingis’ native Latvia as a way to help mend broken fences between the Euro sensation and the Knicks themselves.
Remember, it was just one year ago that Porzingis skipped his exit interview with then Knicks president Phil Jackson and executive VP Steve Mills. At that point, suggestions were that Jackson was attempting to trade Porzingis. Once he and the Knicks parted ways, chatter regarding a trade died down some.
Seen as a player-friendly head coach, Fizdale’s hire has been met with positive reviews from those on the Knicks. Whether that includes Porzingis remains to be seen.
Despite coming off an injury-plagued 2017-18 campaign that saw him suffer a torn ACL, Porzingis is seen as the face of the Knicks’ franchise. He’s also in line for a massive five-year, $157 million extension. It’s possible that Fizdale’s presence in New York could expedite matters. Then again, Porzingis’ name has already been brought up in trade rumors surrounding Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.
After lasting less than two seasons as the Memphis Grizzlies’ head coach, Fizdale has his work cut out for him in th big Apple. Obviously, his first order of business it to understand where Porzingis stands moving forward.