LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, NBA Twitter have David Fizdale’s back after firing
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.
David Fizdale firing was so stunning I had to check, double-check & triple-check Woj's Twitter account to make sure it was legit. I then made sure it was a legit blue check, went over to Woj's Twitter page & scrolled down again because I didn't want to be duped by a fake account— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) November 27, 2017
Marc Gasol is 33 in January. Mike Conley is plagued with chronic Achilles issues in Year 2 of 5-yr, $150M deal. Fizdale takes the fall.— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) November 27, 2017
Tough, tough day. Seven months ago, Grizz Nation was soaking up those 'Take That for Data' shirts in support of Fizdale. Today, amid a very difficult stretch, there's a coaching change. Having been around Fiz for 8 years, I know he'll land squarely on his feet. Period.— Michael Wallace (@MyMikeCheck) November 27, 2017
I've heard nothing but great things about David Fizdale's coaching. He did a tremendous job in getting that team to the playoffs last season. Grizzlies' management obviously chose franchise icon Marc Gasol over coach.— Mark Schanowski (@MarkSchanowski) November 27, 2017
Did it really need to be either/or? I don’t believe it did.