New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale goes way back with Jim Boylen.
Long before they became NBA bench bosses, Fizdale and Boylen served as assistant coaches under Eric Musselman with the Golden State Warriors during the 2003-04 season.
So, when Fizdale saw his good friend and former colleague under fire, shortly into his tenure as head coach of the Chicago Bulls, it wasn't a pleasant feeling.
"He's a heck of a coach, so you never want to see him go through that. This guy, he taught me so much," Fizdale said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "Man, he overwhelmed me with information as an assistant coach. Between him and Keith Smart, I was getting this flood of education."
"This guy is a brilliant coach, so I never want to see that happen to my friend. I'm hoping that they can figure that thing out, and he can get to where he can coach that team."
Boylen was recently criticized for scheduling a practice the day after the second game of a back-to-back, which is generally frowned upon in the NBA. Some Bulls players reportedly contacted the National Basketball Players Association about the coach's tactics.
Fizdale said he wouldn't rule out doing something similar to wake up his team but acknowledged each coach has to understand their individual situation and act in a way that best suits their team.
"Every coach has got to handle their situation the way that they see fit. I can only speak for my group," he said. "I feel like I've established a good trust with these guys so they know if I do pull something, it's probably worthwhile and that they deserve it.
"So that's how I view when I really want to crack down on them, I'm hoping that I've gotten to a place with these guys that they know it's coming from the right place."
Fizdale may have learned from an old-school coach in Pat Riley, but he also knows that working his players too extensively isn't the best decision with today's generation.
"You can't Bobby Knight these guys. That's for sure," Fizdale said. "But there does have to be a level of accountability and some standards that you have and as a coach you've got to be able to hold them to. We try to have an environment of respect and accountability."