Knicks president Steve Mills started to build toward the eventual firing of head coach David Fizdale even before Sunday's surprising press conference, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
League sources told Wojnarowski that the Knicks' roster is viewed as "mismatched" and Mills "is selling [owner James] Dolan on a poorly coached team that is underachieving at 2–8 to start the season."
Following New York's third blowout home loss of the season and eighth in 10 games, Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressed the media to discuss the team's early-season struggles.
"We have patience and we believe in coach and we believe in the group that we put together," Mills said, with Perry standing next to him. "But we also know, as Scott and I have said a number of times, we need to find a way to have a consistent level of effort and execution."
League sources reportedly considered the news conference to be shocking and a low blow to Fizdale, who is in the middle of a four-year contract rumored to be worth $22 million. Fizdale is struggling to deal with the team's roster issues, especially at point guard.
Following Sunday's loss, Fizdale was talking with players in the locker room when Mills and Perry held the press conference. Coaches usually address the media first after games.
"Everyone is moving to their positions now," a league source told ESPN about New York's management and the coaching staff. "This is how they'll make [Fizdale] the fall guy."
New York is currently tied with the Warriors for the worst record in the NBA at 2–8.