Former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale may be a growing favorite for the New York Knicks job, according to a report.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday that Fizdale is gaining “serious traction” with the Knicks as they close in on naming a replacement for the fired Jeff Hornacek.
David Fizdale has gained serious traction in New York Knicks' search for next head coach, league sources told Yahoo.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 2, 2018
Many names have been linked to the Knicks’ job. One coach was considered a hot candidate but has interest elsewhere, while an external push for another former coach doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. Fizdale is one of the more respected names on the market despite how his tenure in Memphis went, and he’s clearly impressed the Knicks’ braintrust.
Here are 10 of the hottest names on the NBA head coaching market.
1) Jerry Stackhouse
Despite a lack of NBA coaching experience, Stackhouse is attracting all sorts of interest. The former star guard has been a big success coaching Toronto’s G League affiliate, winning a title with them in 2017. Hiring a first-time coach at the NBA level is always a risk, but the amount of teams that seem sold on Stackhouse — or at least considering him — is impressive. They’re clearly convinced that his G League success could carry over to the NBA.
The Charlotte Hornets are beginning to line up interviews for their vacant head coaching job.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina and former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale are the first two candidates poised for interviews with the Hornets, who are looking to replace the fired Steve Clifford.
Former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale and San Antonio assistant Ettore Messina are scheduled to interview for Charlotte’s head coaching job in the coming days, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 21, 2018
Fizdale may be the favorite, but he’ll have his choice of jobs — he’s already spoken to both the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks. Messina, meanwhile, has been stepping in for Gregg Popovich in the Spurs’ playoff series while the head coach is away.
David Fizdale is high on the New York Knicks’ list of coaching candidates, but he may have some explaining to do before any potential offer is extended.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported on Sunday that the Knicks would like to know what went wrong with the relationship between the ex-Memphis Grizzlies coach, who was fired last November, and star center Marc Gasol.
According to a source close to Fizdale briefed on the Grizzlies’ decision, it was ownership having to make a choice — trade their All-Star center Marc Gasol, who has fallen in love with its small-market city, or fire the coach. Their relationship had gotten that bad.
Knicks brass wants to know what happened to his relationship with the Spanish center and reports he benched Gasol in the fourth quarter of what turned into his last game just to mess with him.
It is a fair question for them to ask — freshly-fired head coach Jeff Hornacek did not always see eye-to-eye with his players, and the Knicks obviously have their own star European big man in Kristaps Porzingis who has a history of clashing with management.
Fizdale is scheduled to interview with the Knicks later this week, and Berman adds that he checks off “a lot” of the boxes that they are looking for. But if the team ultimately chooses to go in another direction with their head coaching position, we may have an idea of what brought them to that decision.
David Fizdale’s next job may be bringing him back to the Southeast Division.
Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix reported on Friday that the former Memphis Grizzlies coach is an early favorite among Charlotte Hornets officials for their head coaching job. The Hornets fired Steve Clifford earlier in the day after five seasons in charge, but Mannix adds that Fizdale may have better options.
An early favorite among Hornets officials: David Fizdale. But Fizdale–who is highly regarded despite how things ended in Memphis–could have better options.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) April 13, 2018
The 43-year-old Fizdale, who previously won two championships as a Miami Heat assistant, was fired by the Grizzlies in November after a 7-12 start to the 2017-18 campaign and sat out the remainder of the season. He holds a career record as a head coach of 50-51 (.495).
Mark Medina of the Mercury News also adds that Fizdale plans to interview with the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks at some point next week.
Fizdale also plans to interview with the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns sometime next week https://t.co/ADEfA98vu3
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 14, 2018
With three total vacancies around the league currently (as well as multiple other uncertain interim situations), Fizdale indeed has several options. The Hornets seem to be doing their due diligence with other candidates as well.
- David Fizdale
Is LaVar Ball now about to speak a head coaching move into existence?
In an appearance Friday on “The Rich Eisen Show,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst dropped a bit of a bombshell about the LA Lakers and coach Luke Walton.
“Whatever you want to say about LaVar Ball, he has smoked out the fact that the Lakers do not support Luke Walton,” said Windhorst, according to Ryne Nelson of SLAMOnline. “And that is now crystal clear. And there are now guys out there wondering openly to me — executives, coaches, agents — who the Lakers are going to hire as their next coach. Because that has been revealed here –that they do not have unconditional support for Luke.
“What coach has LeBron [James] tweeted about most recently? What coach got fired this year and LeBron tweeted about it?” Windhorst continued when pressed on who the Lakers might hire if they were to fire Walton. “Los Angeles native David Fizdale … I got executives in my ear, I got agents in my ear, saying, ‘Oh yeah, they’re probably going to hire David Fizdale.'”
Since Ball went viral earlier this month with his controversial comments about Walton supposedly losing control of the team, the Lakers, both players and management, have indicated that the second-year coach still has their full support. But they remain a rotten 14-27 on the year, and questions about the 37-year-old’s Walton’s fit for this team at this point in time still persist.
It’s worth noting that Fizdale, who was fired by the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this season, coached James, presumably the Lakers’ top free agent target this summer, as an assistant in Miami for many years. Though both he and Walton have roughly the same amount of head coaching experience, Fizdale seems to be the more respected of the two right now. That could leave the Lakers with a decision to make, especially if their struggles under Walton continue.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are bothered by the news of David Fizdale’s firing by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Shortly after news broke that Fizdale was being fired and replaced by assistant J.B. Bickerstaff, James sent the following tweet:
I need some answers. Feels like my man was a fall guy
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 27, 2017
Wade added this:
I need answers!!! WTF https://t.co/z39oNRQok0
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 27, 2017
Fizdale was an assistant on Erik Spoelstra’s staff in Miami prior to taking the Memphis job, which is why both James and Wade are coming to his defense.
Memphis started off the season 7-4, but they have lost eight in a row and are now 7-12. They also have some issues with their star player, as Marc Gasol was benched for the fourth quarter on Sunday. Clearly ownership or management felt there was a need for change.
Fizdale, a widely respected coach around the league, was in just his second season on the job. He went 43-39 in his first season, taking the team to the playoffs.
Of course, Memphis has a reputation for firing coaches who have had success; they have fired three coaches over the past five years, with Lionel Hollins and Dave Joerger also getting the ax despite coming off winning seasons.