What happened with Fizdale in Memphis?

Below is a cliff notes version of the events leading up to Fizdale’s firing:

  • Most notably, David Fizdale and Marc Gasol never seemed to have a close relationship, it appeared to be strained for a long period of time.
  • The breaking point came in a film session when Fizdale diminished Gasol’s international accomplishments.
  • Two weeks before the firing, Mike Conley injured his Achilles (with Memphis 7-6, having lost two straight)
  • Following Conley’s injury, the Grizzlies lost six in a row to fall to 7-12 on the season.
  • Then, in a loss to the Nets, Fizdale benched Gasol in favor of a bench unit that had made a big run during the game.

Below is Marc Gasol’s post-game interview following the loss to the Nets.

Fizdale was fired the next day.

Read what Marc Gasol had to say a few weeks after the firing.


How do other Memphis players feel about Fizdale?

VINCE CARTER: “He just wants to win, and his approach is all about winning, period,” Carter said. “He’s been to the mountaintop, so he understands what it takes as a coach to put us in the position to win. He’s all about making it as easy as possible for players, whatever that entails.”

Fizdale made it a point of emphasis to go to dinner with the players and their families.

MIKE CONLEY: “My wife knows his wife, and it’s like that with a lot of the players,” Conley said, adding that Fizdale is always thinking of the next team get-together.

CHANDLER PARSONS: “He’s a friend, too,” Parsons said. “At the end of the day, you want to play good for him because you love him. You have a personal relationship with him outside of basketball.”

via James Herbert, CBS Sports


What did Fiz have to say about the firing?


Where can I read more?

For a broader analysis of Fizdale and what happened in Memphis, read a detailed profile here.

Stephen A. Smith reacted to the firing for The Undefeated.

Stefan Bondy (New York Daily News) recently detailed an account of the events here.

Mike Conley blamed himself.

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