David Fizdale's days in Manhattan already appear to be numbered.
New York Knicks president Steve Mills has already begun to "lay the internal groundwork" that will eventually lead to the firing of Fizdale as the team's head coach, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews.
"Everyone is moving to their positions now," someone close to the Knicks' management and coaching staff told Wojnarowski and Andrews. "This is how they'll make (Fizdale) the fall guy."
After an unsightly 108-87 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Mills unexpectedly organized an impromptu press conference where he publicly backed Fizdale as the team's bench boss but also called for a rapid turnaround to the Knicks' 2-8 start to the season.
“We have patience and we believe in (head coach David Fizdale), and we believe in the group that we put together, but we also know that ... we need to find a way to have a consistent level of effort and execution," Mills said.
Despite his show of support for Fizdale, Mills is reportedly convincing team owner James Dolan that the team can compete in the Eastern Conference and is underperforming this season. Rival executives, meanwhile, believe the Knicks' struggles are due to a poorly constructed roster, Wojnarowski and Andrews added.
Fizdale first took over in New York in May 2018 and has since managed the franchise to a combined 19-73 record. His contract with the Knicks is said to run for another two years after this one and is worth $22 million total, according to Wojnarowski and Andrews.
The 45-year-old previously spent two seasons in charge of the Memphis Grizzlies. He steered them to a 43-39 regular-season record in 2016-17 and a subsequent first-round exit in the playoffs but was dismissed after a 7-12 start to his second campaign.