Knicks coach David Fizdale extremely emotional after cutting Ron Baker
The New York Knicks made a great signing by turning Allonzo Trier’s two-way deal into a full-fledged NBA contract, but by doing so, they were forced to part ways with another guard, Ron Baker. The third-year guard out of Wichita State was undrafted, just like Trier, and had grown to win the hearts of the coaching staff, the locker room, and the fans.
“This was the hardest one I’ve ever been a part of,’’ said Fizdale after giving Baker the news, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Cutting Ron Baker was really rough. I talked to him today. He was fantastic. He’s Ron Baker. He’s a pro. He totally understood where we were. Obviously it goes without saying we’re resources to him. If anyone ever calls me on him I’ll have nothing but incredible things to say about him. I even joked to him a little bit when he’s finally done, spend some time with me and I may have a coach on my hands there.”
Baker didn’t figure to play much in his first year, but the 6-foot-4 Kansas native made the most of his opportunity as a rookie, quickly showing unmatched work ethic and a willingness to lay it all on the line, something that endeared him to coaches and teammates alike.
“I’m telling you his understanding of the game, work ethic, communicator, leader, he’s got all those intangibles,” said Fizdale, hopeful Baker would find his place in the NBA or another league. “I think when it’s finally said and done for him, I think he has a career in this league if he wants to [as a coach].”
As it is, there’s a good chance that Baker, a four-year product who was playfully nicknamed “Ron Burgundy’’ by Carmelo Anthony, could strike a deal with a G League team, or even try his luck overseas.