Before and after their game Saturday night against the Pacers, Knicks players spoke to the media and reacted to the firing of David Fizdale on Friday afternoon.
Here's what a few of them had to say:
"I appreciate everything coach Fizdale and coach (Keith) Smart have done for me. They were the first ones to give me a chance in the league so I appreciate them. I spoke to coach Fizdale. Wished me the best.''
Barrett added that he spoke with management after the firing, but kept the details to himself: "Oh that's private. I can't talk about what management told me."
DENNIS SMITH JR.
"Got everybody by surprise. ...That's my guy. We talked, a good talk. Me and Marcus (Morris) went up and talked to him. ...He was telling us the things that we discussed that day in practice and all season, that mindset he wanted us to have, he wants us to carry that out. He believed me and Marcus, and spoke to us about it."
"It's tough. Especially from my perspective, you know, that's a brother that lost his job. He's out of work. So I definitely feel for him deeply. We didn't want it to fall on him. We talked about that actually, like, we've got to start taking responsibility because he'll stand up in front of y'all and take all the bullets for all of us. It's not a hundred percent on him, so it was definitely tough."
Smith Jr said the team had a players only meeting before practice: "4-18. Got to talk about something. Got to hash something out. it was productive. It was definitely productive. We talked some things that were important. I believe that we're going to carry that out tonight."
"It was really about just the players. It was about the players."
With the Knicks still needing to prepare for the Pacers, Smith Jr. touched upon some changes new interim head coach Mike Miller made before the game.
"We added a couple different sets, and that's kind of what we're gonna be running tonight."
Gibson said he heard from management after the firing: "Yeah, right after it happened, Scott (Perry) and Steve (Mills), they called a few guys. For me, I was there right after so I was able to meet with them. It was a weird feeling. But they communicated very well."
"I feel like they just wanted to make a change. I don't know the (details) of it. Just have to respect what they did and move forward."
Gibson also mentioned that he met with Fizdale after the news broke: "He was still motivating. He hugged me, he teared up a little bit. We had a good relationship. He told us to keep playing, he's going to keep watching and keep guys motivated and keep going strong."
"Guys loved him. Guys respected him. That's what I saw."
"It was tough. Fiz was my guy. We had a great relationship off the court. He was very influential in my decision in free agency. But at the end of the day, it's a business. I know Fiz understands that. We talked afterwards, we talked during the season. If something like that happens, his big thing was you just have to keep going, you still have to work, don't feel sorry for him, and things like that."
"He's that type of guy," Morris said on Fizdale telling guys to keep moving forward. "He's always preached when he first walked in here that he's preparing us for greater things. At the end of the day, it's a business. Fiz is one of those types of guys that will be around the league for a long time. It didn't work out here, so be it. But we've got to keep going forward, keep getting better. Coach Mike, he's going to step in, he's going to do a great job. We've got a lot of respect for him and I'm excited to see how he grows."
"When he was here, it was a family thing. He's still going to be a part of us no matter what. I really don't care what nobody say. He's still apart of us. He looked after us outside of basketball. He's seen us as people as well. And I appreciate that from him."
"It's tough. Fiz was great, a great person, a great human being, a great coach. It's just a business so it's tough, but we've got a long season ahead, we've got to keep moving on and keep fighting and just keep playing hard for each other."