DETROIT — Knicks fans may want to blame David Fizdale for the team’s awful start, but the coach appears to have the backing of the two people who matter most — general manager Scott Perry and president Steve Mills.
“They have been incredibly supportive. We talk every day,” Fizdale said Wednesday before the Knicks played the Pistons. “The beauty of what’s happening inside our building is everyone is connected. They all see the work we are putting in."
The Knicks enter Wednesday’s play with a 1-6 record, tied with New Orleans for the NBA’s worst start. Sunday marked a new low when the Knicks were crushed by Sacramento, a team that had picked up its first win two days earlier. Fan frustration boiled over in the second half of the 113-92 loss as the crowd booed and some chanted: “Fire Fizdale.”
“I don’t think about that,” Fizdale said when he was asked about the crowd behavior. “I was more concerned about our performance from my seat. I can’t get caught up with how everybody else is feeling.”
Fizdale also has the support of Pistons coach Dwane Casey.
“Coach Fizdale is one of the top coaches in our league, great teacher,” Casey said before the game. “It’s just like all of us. When you have so many new faces coming together, it takes some time.”
Entering the Detroit game, Fizdale had an 18-71 record as a Knicks coach. He has been handed a difficult assignment this season. He is trying to mesh 10 new players — including a number of veterans on one-year contracts — with the team’s young talent.
Fizdale had seen consistent development from this team until the Sacramento game. And he was unsparing with his criticism during the film session afterward.
“You show them the truth,” Fizdale said. “The good part about our team is they handled the truth well because they want to get better from it. And then a game like that, you flush it down the toilet.”