David Fizdale wasted little time making a good first impression as head coach of the New York Knicks.
Fielding questions from reporters during his introductory presser, the freshly hired Fiz exuded poise and polish, while outline clear, contemporary ideals he hopes to implement from the jump—particularly on the player development front.
Speaking of which, when asked about franchise cornerstone Kristaps Porzingis, the new head coach emphasized he won’t tether the incumbent unicorn to a ceiling…or even a position:
Fizdale on whether Porzingis is a 4 or 5: "All of it. Why limit it. Why put a ceiling on it. Right? I just see so many ways to use him."
Adds: "I want to have a real open mind."
did mention KP playing the 5 is basically unguardable, and used the word 'positionless'
— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) May 8, 2018
Fizdale even took it one step further. When asked about having three point guards on the roster—Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Burke—he interjected and corrected the reporter, instead calling them “guards.” He doesn’t want to put a label or position on anything or anyone. He is very much an advocate for fit and function rather than stereotypical designations.
That represents some fresh-needed perspective for the Knicks. They’ve long been in the stone age when it comes to player development and deployment. To have someone like Fizdale, who spent ample time with the ever-innovating Miami Heat, seems like it’s going to bode well for them.
Granted, we won’t have an idea of how he really uses Porzingis until the 22-year-old returns from his ACL injury—which might not happen until the end of next season, if it happens before 2019-20 at all. But the mere mention of using Porzingis at center, or in generally positionless lineups, is a refreshing concept that’s never been broached by the Knicks beyond offhanded mentions. It’s never been put into practice. That it might be put to use now is, at the risk of getting too far ahead of the game, is a good thing.