VOL. 131 | NO. 106 | Friday, May 27, 2016
Heat's David Fizdale Accepts Offer to Become Grizz Head Coach
By Don Wade
Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale has accepted the Memphis Grizzlies’ offer to become their head coach and agreed to a four-year contract, according Yahoo! Sports.
The Grizzlies had interviewed many candidates after firing Dave Joerger earlier this month; Joerger then landed the head coaching job with the Sacramento Kings.
The Grizzlies targeted former Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel, according to multiple reports, but Vogel ultimately reached agreement with Orlando to become the Magic’s head coach.
Several other assistants interviewed with Memphis, including two from the San Antonio Spurs – James Borrego and Ettore Messina. Reports from ESPN indicated that Fizdale followed up a good interview with Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace by having a strong interview with controlling owner Robert Pera.
Fizdale has never been an NBA head coach. He has 13 years of experience as an assistant working for the Heat, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors. In 2010 and 2012, he served as head coach of the Heat’s summer league teams.
He began his coaching career with four years as an assistant (1998-2002) for his alma mater, the University of San Diego. Fizdale was a three-year starter at point guard. Prior to the college coaching stint, he worked in the Heat’s video room during the 1997-98 season.
The Grizzlies have made the playoffs six straight seasons – the third-longest streak in the NBA – but face questions this offseason. Center Marc Gasol is recovering from a broken foot and point guard Mike Conley will be a free agent and has indicated he will listen to other teams’ offers and will need to see some action from the Grizzlies that shows they are willing to do what’s necessary to improve the team.
The Grizzlies hold the 17th overall pick in the NBA Draft next month and also have one second-round pick.