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David Fizdale ‘never allowed’ himself to think Knicks were getting Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Zion Williamson

Knicks, David Fizdale, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Zion Williamson

Former New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale admitted on ESPN radio on Wednesday that he “never allowed” himself to think the team was going to get Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and/or Zion Williamson.

The Knicks had cap space to sign Durant and Irving last summer and were heavily linked to the two superstars. However, neither Irving nor Durant even took a meeting with New York, as both champions signed with the Brooklyn Nets.

Williamson, meanwhile, was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans, who won the draft lottery despite the Knicks having the worst record in the NBA in 2018-19.

“I never had my hopes up,” David Fizdale said, via The New York Daily News. “I was already thinking step by step. I didn’t want to skip any steps. So I never got to a place where I was saying, we’re getting Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. I never allowed myself to get there. I never allowed myself to think, we’re getting Zion. I always stayed in a place of, okay, what if the worst happens. And how do we move a team forward if the worst happens.

“And so when we got the news that those guys weren’t coming, I had already had my mind moving forward… I always tried to keep my mind in a place of caution, and try to stay two steps ahead of, ‘Okay, if we don’t get those guys, who can take us to a higher plane where maybe next year or two years from now, that next guy is ready to come?”

The Knicks fired Fizdale just 22 games into this season. The former Miami Heat assistant and Memphis Grizzlies coach went 21-83 in his stint with New York.

Before the NBA suspended the season due to the coronavirus, the Knicks were in 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings. New York had a record of 21-45.

The last time the Knicks had a winning record and made the playoffs was all the way back in the 2012-13 campaign. The franchise has been a walking disaster under owner James Dolan.