Memphis Grizzlies GM: David Fizdale Was Fired To ‘Save The Season’ And Tension With Marc Gasol Was Indeed A Factor

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Marc Gasol had a little to do with David Fizdale’s firing on Monday, though the Memphis Grizzlies general manager says it has more to do with saving the team’s season than anything.

Fizdale was fired on Monday amid speculation that Gasol’s benching was the last straw for the team’s star. The move caused an outcry from some notable Cleveland Cavaliers players, and may wondered what impact Gasol had on the move.

Though his brother, Pau, said he didn’t think Marc caused the firing, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace said Gasol had some impact on the decision, but it was more the 7-12 start to the season and a 12th place position in the standings that sealed Fizdale’s fate.

Gasol was benched by Fizdale before the firing, and Wallace admitted to “tension” between the two, but said a 14-26 record over the team’s last 40 games and a desire to “save” the season was the main reason the coach was shown the door.

“We needed to have a change to try to save the season,” Wallace told reporters on Tuesday. “Looking at where we were headed, there just weren’t a great deal of positive trends. We hope to get a positive reboot.”

Fizdale, meanwhile, released a statement thanking the Grizzlies and their fans on Tuesday.

Wallace also defended his star player, who may now get the reputation of someone who can get rid of a coach if the “tension” becomes too high.

“I don’t think that’s fair at all,” Wallace said when asked if Gasol is a coach-killer.