The offseason coaching carousel has almost come to a stop. The only vacancies left are the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies jobs, and the latter of those now looks to be filled. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports that the Grizzlies are working on a deal with well-regarded longtime Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale:
Fizdale has been on Erik Spoelstra’s bench in Miami since 2008, and for the past several years he’s been gaining buzz as a future head coaching candidate. Spoelstra and LeBron James raved about his ability to connect with players in a 2013 Palm Beach Post column from Ethan Skolnick:
“He does a great job of communicating with us,” said LeBron James, first introduced to Fizdale when Mike Brown, then in his first stint as Cavaliers coach, twice tried to hire him in Cleveland.
Communication is widely deemed Fizdale’s greatest strength.
“And with the most diverse types of people,” said Spoelstra, who supervised Fizdale on the video staff when the latter was a Heat intern in 1997-98. “You can throw him into any room, and he will be able to work with that room. Anywhere. From where he grew up in South Central, to a board meeting to a basketball camp, he can bring any group of people together. And I know I’ll always get the truth out of Fiz, even if it’s not what I want to hear.”
Fizdale has been sought after around the league for years and has always opted to stay in Miami, making him a polar opposite of his predecessor at his new gig in Memphis, Dave Joerger. Joerger openly flirted with the Minnesota Timberwolves coaching job while under contract in 2014 and was ultimately let go in May because of his interest in other gigs. Fizdale deciding to make this jump after eight years in Miami says a lot.