New York Knicks: Mike Miller earned the coaching opportunity

David Fizdale, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
David Fizdale, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The firing of head coach David Fizdale opens the door for New York Knicks interim coach Mike Miller to prove his case for the permanent job.

The New York Knicks front office made the decision official on Friday afternoon with the firing of David Fizdale. Fizdale’s early dismissal from the job comes after a record of 4-18 this season and 21-83 overall.

Fizdale’s immediate successor was expected to be right-hand man Keith Smart, but he was also relieved of his duties. The job has now been given to assistant coach Mike Miller on an interim basis to finish the rest of the season. Miller is best known for coaching the franchise’s G League affiliate the Westchester Knicks, even winning coach of the year honors in 2017-2018.

During his G-League tenure, Miller tallied a 108-92 record in Westchester developing young players along the way. Fizdale endorsed Miller over the summer as a replacement for former assistant Howard Eisley. The former Knicks coach spoke with reporters about the change with positive hopes for the future.

"“Mike is an accomplished and respected coach who has been an integral member of the Knicks family the last four years with Westchester,” Fizdale said in a statement. “Mike is a great addition to the staff, a relentless worker who shares our approach to the game with expertise in player development.”"

The expertise in development is a big part of Miller’s promotion and could lead to a permanent gig if he can miraculously turn the season around. The Knicks have plenty of young talent that needs guidance and consistency to win in the NBA.

A player such as Kevin Knox was lost in the shuffle after the offseason of veteran signings took him out the rotation. The influence of Miller could become vital and possibly save his tenure in New York moving forward. RJ Barrett’s rookie season needs a boost and continues to spark hope for fans that a future isn’t as bleak as expected.

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The rest of the roster will be revamped understandable, but it’s going to be interesting to see how everything falls into place by springtime.