It has been a wild week for the Memphis Grizzlies, and the centerpiece of it all was the firing of head coach David Fizdale.
While that would already be a noteworthy NBA event in November, the story was elevated by reports that Fizdale and star center Marc Gasol did not see eye to eye, and since then, plenty has been said on all sides about the All-Star big man and what may or may not have happened behind the scenes.
One such tidbit, though, may speak to a history of rifts involving Gasol, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal brings word that former Grizzlies and current Kings head coach Dave Joerger was seemingly convinced that Gasol wanted him fired back in 2016.
There was a particularly rough patch during the Grizzlies’ 2015-16 season — coach Dave Joerger’s final campaign at the helm — when a level of paranoia crept into the coaching staff.
Joerger approached the team’s beat writer in an unusually frank manner with a major concern during the middle of a west coast trip.
“I think Marc’s trying to get me fired,” Joerger said, referring to Marc Gasol.
It is a jump to get from apparently believing Gasol was out to get him at one point and actually pinning the eventual firing on the center’s shoulders. Still, Joerger was let go in Memphis despite some considerable success, and it is reasonable to think that he could have been more stable in the position with a better relationship to a franchise centerpiece.
With a bit of distance between the reported sentiment from Joerger and present-day life, it seems wild to think that either party would actually admit to this level of tension, but the mere existence of this kind of sentiment is noteworthy. If nothing else, it is something to file away on background.