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Erik Spoelstra thinks Knicks firing David Fizdale was ‘unfortunate’

Erik Spoelstra, David Fizdale, Heat, Knicks

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said the firing of former New York Knicks coach was “unfortunate” ahead of Miami’s game against New York on Sunday. He also took a dig at Knicks leadership:

Fizdale used to be a member of Spoelstra’s coaching staff with the Heat during the “Big Three” era with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Fizdale eventually earned head coaching gigs with the Memphis Grizzlies and, subsequently, the Knicks.

This year marked the second time Fizdale has been canned in rather unceremonious fashion. He helped lead the Grizzlies to the playoffs in 2017, his first season in Memphis. He was then fired just 19 games into the 2017-18 season after a disappointing start.

Fizdale took the Knicks job ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, and New York finished with the worst record in the NBA at 17-65. He was shown the door after a 4-18 start to the year.

However, personnel from around the league have been more critical of New York’s handling of the situation and roster building over the past few years, rather than the job Fizdale did with his team.

The Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks last February so as to open up a second max-salary slot in free agency. However, New York failed to lure a single marquee name to the Big Apple this past summer, instead opting to sign role players like Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton and Taj Gibson, amongst others.

As a result, the Knicks struggled right out of the gate this season. Even though New York went 6-6 in their first 12 games under interim head coach Mike Miller, they have since lost five in a row, and currently sit at 14th in the Eastern Conference standings. They appear nowhere closer to a return to relevance.