David Fizdale has made getting a better night's sleep one of his goals for Knicks players in his first season as head coach.
But there's one cultural phenomenon getting in his way.
"'Fortnite,' that's my competitor right now," Fizdale told The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov. "'Fortnite' is tougher than the Boston Celtics."
"Fortnite' is undefeated."
Fizdale has stressed the importance of sleep and how it affects players' performance on the court during the course of a season. According to Vorkunov, Fizdale has introduced daily wellness questionnaires to his players which keep track of the amount of sleep they get, their mood and how sore they feel.
Fizdale has also adjusted the team's schedule from prior seasons by moving practice times back so players can get more rest the morning after night games.
Tim Hardaway Jr. said he's been trying to follow the Knicks staff's instruction and get eight or nine hours of sleep per night, but admitted it's been a challenge.
"You're so anxious to play, you got to get bed on time," he told Vorkunov. "You're anxious, TV's on, can't sleep, then when you do get a good night's sleep, once you're in a deep sleep you gotta come out of it to get to practice. It's a whole thing, so it's a whole bunch of crap but it's helping out. It's helping me out tremendously to go out there and perform."
Fizdale's motivational ax also isn't the only tool he's given his players this year. At the start of the season, Knicks players received orange-tinted glasses that limit blue light, which strains the eyes and can impact sleep.
"I notice when you wear them, even if you're on your phone or watching TV, you feel your eyes getting tired," Luke Kornet said, per The Athletic.
Even if the Knicks upped their average sleep time to nine hours a night, it's unlikely that they'd be jumping over teams in the Eastern Conference standings. But like most things for Fizdale, he's focused on the long-term development of his players.