The Memphis Grizzlies have lost eight games in a row and 11 of their last 13 after a scorching hot 5-1 start to the season. What started as a little skid was compounded by an Achilles injury to star point guard Mike Conley and turned into a full on losing streak.
The most recent loss came to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday in which Marc Gasol watched the entire fourth quarter from the bench, and voiced his displeasure with that decision after the game. On Monday, the Grizzlies announced coach David Fizdale had been fired in a stunning move.
Fizdale led the Grizzlies to the 7-seed in the West last year and he was a beloved assistant in Miami from 2008-2016 before he was hired in Memphis. Among the players that remain fiercely loyal to Fizdale are current Cavs stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who took to Twitter after his firing became public to note their anger and demand answers for why he was fired.
James is speculating Fizdale is a fall guy, which could be in reference to the simmering issues with Marc Gasol or noting that this is the type of panic move that tends to happen when a general manager is feeling heat from ownership to turn things around. Wade simply couldn’t believe the move and also needs answers for why it went down.
In any case, it’s clear this isn’t going to be a very popular move among players that previously played for Fizdale, in Memphis, Miami, or Atlanta, and it’s never fun to be the organization getting called out by LeBron — just ask the Knicks.
Vince Carter, who played in Memphis under Fizdale last year, Hassan Whiteside and Damian Lillard also couldn’t believe the news.