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LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, NBA Twitter have David Fizdale’s back after firing

David Fizdale

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2017, file photo, Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Denver. The Grizzlies have fired Fizdale, with the team at 7-12 and a day after he benched center Marc Gasol for the fourth quarter of an eighth straight loss. General manager Chris Wallace announced the move Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

AP

David Fizdale has been fired early in his second season as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Fizdale took the Grizzlies to the playoffs last season, is well liked and well-respected around the league, but in the wake of key injuries (including starting point guard Mike Conley) his Grizzlies squad was sloppy on offense this season, deteriorating on defense, and has lost eight in a row (the last one to Brooklyn, where Fizdale benched center Marc Gasol for the fourth quarter, much to Gasol’s consternation). That is not about Fizdale’s coaching, it is about management’s team building and injuries.

NBA Twitter has its opinions (as always), and it doesn’t like the move. Former players of Fizdale’s — he was a lead assistant in Miami through the title years with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — lept to his defense.

But support came from outside Fizdale’s immediate circle as well.

And from the media.

Did it really need to be either/or? I don’t believe it did.