After an eight-game losing streak, the Memphis Grizzlies decided they need to make some changes and fired their head coach David Fizdale. Grizzlies associate head coach JB Bickerstaff has been named the interim head coach.
Grizzlies announce that David Fizdale has been relieved of his head coaching duties.
Grizzlies associate head coach JB Bickerstaff will take over as interim head coach.https://t.co/Oe16Qm46fd
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) November 27, 2017
“After a thorough evaluation, I decided a change in course was necessary to move forward and provide the team and organization its best chance at success this season and beyond,” – said Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace in a statement.
The Grizzlies’ decision to fire Fizdale caused some shock in the league. He has got the best of the team last year when he took them to playoffs and gave San Antonio Spurs a good run for their money. The current losing streak shouldn’t be entirely Fizdale’s fault since, in the six of those eight games, the team was without one of their star players, point guard Mike Conley. However, the word around the league is that Fizdale’s firing has a lot to do with Grizzlies star Marc Gasol. Fizdale benched Gasol for the entire fourth quarter of the Sunday’s 98-88 loss to the Brooklyn Nets which didn’t sit well with the 32-year-old center.
“There was tension between the two. This is a factor but it’s not the overriding factor. We talked to Marc in real time about the same time we talked to coach Fizdale.“- said Wallace, when asked about Gasol’s role in Fizdale’s exit.
Fizdale released a statement on Tuesday morning saying it was his honor to coach the Grizzlies and that he is thankful for the opportunity.
“It was a great honor and experience to serve as your Head Coach and be part of the Memphis community.” – said Fizdale. “The city of Memphis is a special place and embodies a spirit that is second to none. I wish the organization and the players the best moving forward and hope they bring the fans the championship they so richly deserve. Go Grizz!“
Previously an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, and Miami Heat, Fizdale became the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies in May 2016.