New Knicks head coach David Fizdale will reportedly fly to Latvia soon to meet in person with New York's All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Fizdale, who agreed to a four-year deal with the Knicks on Thursday, is expected to travel to New York next week for a news conference, and will eventually meet with Porzingis in his home country.
Neither former team president Phil Jackson nor former head coach Jeff Hornacek met with Porzingis in Latvia during their tenures with the organization, the New York Daily News' Frank Isola notes, but the trip could help Porzingis and Fizdale get on the same page after FIzdale was fired from his job with the Grizzlies earlier this season after a feud with Memphis' star center Marc Gasol.
Fizdale, 43, went 43-39 last year in his first season as the Grizzlies' head coach, leading Memphis to the postseason, but went 7-12 in 19 games before he was ousted. Prior to joining the Grizzlies, Fizdale was with the Miami Heat's staff for eight years.
He will be the fourth head coach for the 22-year-old Porzingis, who is recovering from a torn ACL. Porzingis played for Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis and Hornacek in his first three seasons in the league. In 48 games before his season-ending injury, Porzingis averaged 22.7 points and 6.6 rebounds en route to his first All-Star selection.
Porzingis, according to Isola, was reportedly in Spain when he learned the Knicks would hire Fizdale. He was not among the Knicks players who immediately reacted to the news on social media.