Marc Berman of the New York Post is reporting that David Fizdale will hire Keith Smart as an assistant coach. Smart has an extremely close relationship with Fizdale, having coached together in three locations.
Smart says they use to call Fizdale “Staples.”
“We had a nickname for him [Fizdale], we called him ‘Staples.’ At that time, we would use posters and put on plays, our offensive plays and our defensive plays, and we would have them written on these cardboard-type post-it notes, huge post-it notes, and David would be the one who would put it on those boards. When we would go through a particular play, we would hold that card up and so all the players would get to see it. So, pre-practice in our coaches meeting, we would talk about the plays we would go over that day in practice, things we would look at doing, and David would be on the side with pens, colored pens and everything, drawing up all these different plays on the side we were going to color that day. So, we ended up nicknaming him ‘Staples’ because he would always have the pens, the posters and all those type things.
When Keith Smart is not protecting children from stray basketballs, he is beating the odds with his health. In 2016, he was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer that affects one in one million people.
After surgery in December, Smart said doctors told him there was a one-in-50 chance of a recurrence of the skin cancer if he didn’t follow up with chemotherapy. But the chances of a recurrence were one in 500 if he went through the full radiation and treatment process. Prioritizing his health meant having to sacrifice almost an entire season with the Heat. The decision was easy, although the recovery was not. Smart said he lost 27 pounds throughout the process and still struggles to eat anything other than “momma’s old remedy” of grits and eggs.