Marc Gasol told Fizdale he did not think Grizzlies could win championship
David Fizdale is getting a second chance to be a head coach in the NBA, and he’s lucky that his fractured relationship with Marc Gasol didn’t cost him another shot.
Fizdale was fired by Memphis just 19 games into this season, which was his second as the Grizzlies’ head coach. He was hired as the new head coach of the New York Knicks despite his failed tenure in Memphis. That tenure was doomed by issues with Gasol.
On Saturday, the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy published an article about what led to Fizdale’s ouster. As told by Bondy, Fizdale wanted to remake the Grizzlies and get rid of the team’s old “Grit ‘n Grind” style. They got rid of Zach Randolph and Tony Allen, which didn’t sit well with Gasol. Then, according to Bondy, the relationship between Fiz and Gasol became really bad after Fizdale confronted the team following a loss.
Fizdale asked each player whether they believed they could win a championship. Gasol said no because he felt they didn’t have the right leader.
“I get it, you want Gregg Popovich, and I want LeBron James,” Fizdale reportedly said back to Gasol.
The Grizzlies sided with Gasol in the feud and ditched Fizdale quickly. His issues with Gasol were a topic of conversation when he interviewed for the Knicks job.
The Knicks clearly are confident that Fizdale is a coach who will be able to turn the team around and help them adapt in a new era of basketball. Memphis meanwhile retained JB Bickerstaff as their head coach moving forward.
Now you have a sense of how uncomfortable things were in the Memphis locker room that led to Fizdale’s departure.