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Dave Joerger thought Marc Gasol was trying to get him fired as Grizzlies coach

Marc Gasol, David Joerger

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, left, talks with his former coach, current Sacramento Kings head coach David Joerger before an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

AP

Marc Gasol is facing new levels of scrutiny for being a coach killer.

The Grizzlies fired David Fizdale on the heals of Gasol expressing frustration for a fourth-quarter benching and reportedly having minimal communication with Fizdale over the previous several months.

A disconnect between Gasol and his coach wasn’t unique, either.

Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal:

There was a particularly rough patch during the Grizzlies’ 2015-16 season — coach Dave Joerger’s final campaign at the helm — when a level of paranoia crept into the coaching staff.

Joerger approached the team’s beat writer in an unusually frank manner with a major concern during the middle of a west coast trip.

“I think Marc’s trying to get me fired,” Joerger said, referring to Marc Gasol.


Was Joerger right? Maybe. The Grizzlies gave him plenty of reason to be paranoid, and that just might have been in his character, anyway. Memphis fired him after the season for seemingly non-Gasol reasons.

But this is a warning to the Grizzlies’ next coach. Gasol is an incredibly smart, hard-working and team-oriented player. He also might be more difficult to manage than previously let on.

Of course, a chaotic ownership situation also looms, though that could be resolved by the time Memphis hires its next coach. Gasol will likely remain.