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Fizdale Fired

Memphis Grizzlies Fire HC David Fizdale Day After Marc Gasol Benching

Don’t mess with Marc Gasol is my only advice to the next head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the midst of an eight-game losing streak and on the losing end of 11 of their last 13-games, the Grizzlies decided to cut ties with Head Coach David Fizdale who led the team to the seventh seed last season. Not even 24-hours after benching All-Star centre Marc Gasol, Fizdale was shown the door following some controversial comments made by the Grizzlies big man.

“I hate not playing,” said a frustrated Gasol. “That’s what I value the most. If I’m not on the floor, that means I’m not valued. I’m sure they knew that would hurt me the most. […] I’m sure they wouldn’t do it to Mike [Conley].”

While Fizdale did not give a reason as to why he benched Gasol in the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies 98-88 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night, it is extremely unnerving to see someone like Gasol blast his head coach post game. He never spoke out publicly against Lionel Hollins, nor David Joerger, nor even Marc Iavaroni. Gasol remains the face of the ‘Grit n’ Grind’ Grizzlies alongside Conley and loves the city of Memphis as much as the city loves him back.

“I don’t think they’re done making changes,” one league executive said on Monday following Fizdale’s firing. “They could still move Gasol, they could still go into a rebuilding situation, but it would be harder if Gasol was saying he wants out. They have had plenty of offers for Gasol, and they have a couple of months to sort out whether they pull the trigger. But don’t be surprised if they do, even after this.”

Meanwhile as the Grizzlies continue to sink, now sitting at 7-12, good for 12th in the Western Conference, Fizdale’s termination has sparked confusion across the NBA. Highly regarded as one of the game’s great young coaches, Fizdale’s firing after benching a star player for a quarter has rubbed many the wrong way.

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