Knicks head coach David Fizdale is attacking his new role head-on, and isn't concerned that the organization has had 11 head coaches in the last 17 years.
"I really feel like this job was for me," Fizdale said Tuesday during his introductory press conference at Madison Square Garden. "I can't speak on any coach who was here before me. ... I know myself and the people we're gonna bring in around me. I just really feel confident that we're gonna get this thing going."
"I've never been afraid," Fizdale added later on when asked why he feels he can last in New York.
Fizdale, who had interest from other teams after being fired by the Grizzlies during the season, said he simply couldn't turn down the chance to win in New York and add to the history of the franchise.
"The thing that I couldn't get away from was the history in the city. ... How many times do you get a chance to coach in The Garden? ... I love challenges. I love the history of the game and trying to make history. ... I just couldn't keep away from this place."
"I used to tell my mom I was gonna play in the Mecca," Fizdale said. "I didn't get to do that. I'm gonna be coaching here, though. That's right."
During the press conference, Fizdale went off-script a bit, speaking directly to Knicks guards Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay, who were among the players in attendance. And regarding Burke, Mudiay, and Frank Ntilikina, Fizdale corrected a reporter who referred to them as point guards -- responding a few times to note that they're "guards."
"I'm about speed, skill, aggression, attacking, playmaking. ... I'm gonna keep my foot up their butt about defending," Fizdale noted about Burke, Mudiay, and Ntilikina.
"I see athletes. I see speed, a physical toughness to us. I want to get up and down the court, attack the paint, share the basketball." Fizdale said, adding none of that can happen without being a physical team that plays strong defense.
Throughout the whole press conference, though, he kept coming back to one theme the most: The chance to succeed in New York.
"I just said 'to hell with it.' It's the Knicks," Fizdale said. "What are we talking about here?"
I don't want to look back on my life and say I didn't take this chance."