CHICAGO – In the wake of another blowout loss that dropped them to 2-9, New York Knicks players continue to back coach David Fizdale despite his precarious job status .
With team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry watching Tuesday at the United Center, New York fell to Chicago 1
With the defeat, the Knicks tied a franchise record for most losses through 11 games.
Even before an astonishing news conference in the wake of a blowout loss to Cleveland on Sunday, Mills had begun to lay the groundwork for possible dismissal of Fizdale, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews reported Monday.
Fizdale did not seem to be dazzled by speculation during Tuesday's shooting game, told reporters, "There is always a media storm in New Yor k, so for everyone else this is a big deal, but for us it is a normal environment. So our guys are focused, they're connected. "
Despite their frustrations following the loss in Chicago – one where they turned the ball over 18 times and were outscored 52-46 in color – the Knicks players were still firmly in their support of the second-year coach.
"We have 9-10 new guys? We have ten guys who haven't played together at all and I who haven't even been in the league yet," said rookie RJ Barrett. "You will have some challenges, but you have to keep pushing, keep pushing through everything. That's all I can really say. You just have to stay together.
"He faces the challenge. We believe in him, "he continued." We stay together, and as we said, we're all in with him and will just keep fighting together. "
New York players are fully aware that not everything falls at just Fizdale either.
"Just play hard for him, go out there and give everything," said Knicks forward / center Bobby Portis. "We can't control the gains and losses, but we can control our level of effort and just go out there and playing with turns and intensity. So even though shots didn't fall for us tonight and Coby White went crazy in the fourth quarter, I think we played hard for Coach and that's all we ask for. "
The Knicks have started a season 2-9 on seven occasions, with four of those instances coming in the last 20 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Players are not willing to give up yet – on their coach or team – until something becomes official. The Knicks will host the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
"Go there and play hard for him. Go out there and try to pull out victories, "said Taj Gibson, who finished with 17 points and five boards on Tuesday." You get wins, the noise stops, and that's the main focus right now is to try to win wins.
"He tries to pull us towards a victory in different ways and at the same time we have come up short," he added. that we should win and it has been the opposite way of late. "