UPDATE (Monday, Nov. 28 at 4:54 p.m.): The Memphis Grizzlies have made David Fizdale’s firing official.
“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,” Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. “Coach Fizdale represented the Grizzlies and City of Memphis proudly, and we wish him well as he continues his career.”
The Grizzlies are the second NBA team to make an in-season coaching change.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Grizz fired head coach David Fizdale on Monday, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’ll be replaced by JB Bickerstaff.
The Grizzlies are 7-12 and have lost eight straight games. They did, however, beat the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets on back-to-back nights in October.
The team hasn’t been playing well of late, but there’s still enough talent on this roster to make the playoffs in the Western Conference, and Fizdale is regarded by many people as a good coach.
Fizdale wasn’t given much of a chance to show his talent, either, as he only coached for 101 games. He compiled a 50-51 record in that span and helped lead the Grizzlies to the playoffs, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs in six games.
Fizdale benched Grizzlies center Marc Gasol on Sunday, and apparently, they didn’t have the best relationship.
Fizdale was an assistant coach for the Miami Heat during LeBron James’ four-year tenure in South Beach, and the current Cleveland Cavaliers star seems puzzled by the firing.
The Phoenix Suns fired coach Earl Watson last month.
Thumbnail photo via Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports Images