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David Fizdale admitted mistakes with Grizzlies in interview with Knicks brass

David Fizdale, Knicks

Prior to being hired by the New York Knicks, former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale has raised questions of his ability to get along with star players after a reported riff with center Marc Gasol spelled his end in Grind City.

Having interviewed for several jobs soon after the regular season ended, Fizdale had to own up to what went wrong during his season-and-change with the Grizzlies to cause his firing.

Fizdale reportedly knew this was something he had to openly discuss if he was to ever get another shot at a head-coaching gig.

“He knew where he messed up and what he’d try to let it never happen again,” said a source who’s spoken with Fizdale since his firing, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge.

That openness was a key reason the Knicks would hope to see more semblance to the players’ coach he was as a beloved assistant with the Miami Heat during the LeBron James era.

Knicks general manager Steve Mills is banking on Fizdale owning up to his mistakes in Memphis as he turns on a new leaf in The Big Apple, per ESPN’s Ian Begley.

Steve Mills says David Fizdale “owned” the role he played in his poor relationship with Marc Gasol in Memphis. Fizdale said he’s reflected on his role in the issues between he and Gasol, has learned from them, and takes responsibility for them.

The Knicks also have a ruptured relationship with their star, Kristaps Porzingis, after the comments made by former president Phil Jackson brought a sour taste to his mouth — one he reportedly still holds, even a year after it took place.

Having cleared the front office and coaching staff of any of Jackson’s remnants, New York is hopeful that Fizdale’s hiring would bring a fresh start and a new, positive relationship between coach and star player — a key caveat this team looked for before the hiring of their next head coach.