Report: Memphis Grizzlies to appoint Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale as head coach

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Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale is set to be named the new head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports.

The 41-year-old had a strong first interview with general manager Chris Wallace which led to an additional meeting with owner Robert Pera where he was offered the job.   

The Grizzlies have conducted a thorough process to find a replacement for Dave Joerger, who was fired earlier this month after three seasons in charge. He was immediately snapped up by the Sacramento Kings.  

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The team's initial target was former Pacers coach Frank Vogel but he opted to take over the Orlando Magic. Interviews were also held with San Antonio Spurs assistants Ettore Messina and James Borrego with the latter emerging as one of the leading candidates along with Fizdale.   

But it is Erik Spoelstra's right-hand man in South Beach who has been given the nod and is now negotiating the terms of his deal in Memphis.   

Fizdale has 13 years of assistant coaching experience with the Heat, Atlanta Hawks, and Golden State Warriors. He has been with Miami since 2008 and was part of the two championship-winning teams in 2012 and 2013.

This will be his first head coaching role in the league but has taken the reigns of the Heat's summer league teams on multiple occasions as he always planned to make the step up eventually in his career.

Former Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers, who worked with Fizdale in the sunshine state during his time there, tweeted his support for him after discovering the news.

Chalmers also spent time in Memphis after being traded earlier in the season before being cut by the team following an Achilles injury that ended his campaign. 


The Grizzlies are coming off an injury-hit year in which they used an NBA-record 28 players and were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Spurs.    

They ended the regular season with a record of 42-40 and finished seventh in the Western Conference.    

Center Marc Gasol suffered a broken right foot in February and missed the remainder of the campaign while point guard Mike Conley went down with an Achilles injury that also ended his year. 

The point guard will be a free agent this summer and one of the first jobs for Fizdale will be to help convince the 28-year-old to re-sign with the organisation.     

The team also has to make decisions on whether to keep Lance Stephenson and Vince Carter.  

The Tennessee-based franchise made the playoffs for three consecutive seasons under Joerger and have the NBA's third-longest streak of making the postseason, at six straight, behind only San Antonio at 19 and Atlanta at 9.

Fizdale will immediately know the standard he must reach and will be tasked with making the Grizzlies a force in the west again. 

Marc Gasol
Memphis Grizzlies
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Zach Randolph
Mike Conley

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