NBA notes: David Fizdale will be Knicks’ next coach
The New York Knicks have agreed to hire David Fizdale as their new coach, a person with knowledge of the details said.
The former Memphis Grizzlies coach will replace Jeff Hornacek, who was fired last month after two seasons.
The Knicks then conducted a lengthy search before agreeing Thursday to a deal in principle with Fizdale, the person told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was not officially announced.
ESPN first reported the agreement with Fizdale.
Fizdale led the Grizzlies to the playoffs in his first season before being fired early last season following a clash with star center Marc Gasol.
That did little to diminish the respect of Fizdale, who had been an assistant to Erik Spoelstra in Miami when the Heat won two NBA championships and developed strong relationships with superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
The Knicks will hope he will have the same effect on their young team, which has missed the playoffs the past five seasons and could struggle again next season while All-Star Kristaps Porzingis recovers from a torn knee ligament.
Fizdale went 43-39 and led the Grizzlies to the playoffs in his lone full season in Memphis. He lasted just 19 games into the following season, when Gasol publicly objected to being left on the bench in the fourth quarter of a game. Fizdale now becomes the 11th Knicks coach since Jeff Van Gundy resigned in the 2001-02 season.
McCaw cleared for on-court work
Golden State guard Patrick McCaw has been cleared to do some modified shooting and on-court running following a frightening fall at Sacramento on March 31 when he lost feeling in his lower half and was taken out on a stretcher with a severely bruised lower back.
The team says the second-year pro was re-evaluated Thursday and will be examined by team medical staff again in four weeks.
McCaw is making “steady functional progress” and will also work with the athletic training staff to keep building back his overall strength and conditioning.
McCaw drove the baseline and went down with a thud in the third quarter of a 112-96 win, hit in the lower body by Vince Carter.
McCaw lay still for about 10 minutes as the crowd quieted. Carter, who was given a Flagrant-1 foul, knelt nearby as medical personnel from both teams along with Warriors coach Steve Kerr rushed out to the baseline beneath Golden State’s basket.
McCaw has said he didn’t believe Carter intentionally injured him.
Drake told to cool it
The NBA has asked the Toronto Raptors to tell rapper Drake to avoid a repeat of his verbal exchanges with Cleveland’s Kendrick Perkins during Game 1 of Toronto’s second-round series against the Cavaliers.
Drake, who has been Toronto’s global ambassador since 2013, occasionally sits in a courtside seat adjacent to Toronto’s bench and trades barbs with visiting players.
Perkins took exception to Drake’s comments as the teams were leaving the court at the end of the first half Tuesday. The pair traded angry words again following Cleveland’s 113-112 overtime win.
According to the NBA’s Fan Code of Conduct, the league is “committed to creating a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable sports & entertainment experience.”
The Raptors hosted Game 2 on Thursday. A day earlier, Toronto coach Dwane Casey said he had no issue with Drake’s antics, saying he wished all Raptors fans had the same passion as the three-time Grammy winner.
5:50 p.m.: This report has been updated with news about Warriors guard Patrick McCaw.
This report was originally published at 3:50 p.m.
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