David Fizdale is no longer the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies and, shortly after that move came to light, the focus shifted toward All-Star center Marc Gasol. The franchise cornerstone was benched by Fizdale in the fourth quarter of the team’s last game.
In addition, murmurs have spread that the relationship between coach and player was deteriorating and, by extension, could serve as rationale behind moving in a different direction.
Future Hall of Fame big man Pau Gasol does not believe that his brother had anything to do with getting Fizdale canned, and he said as much to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News before taking the floor on Monday.
“It’s weird, the timing of it. I don’t think Marc had anything to do with the decision. After that night, after the loss and the way it happened, you can understand there is frustration after losing eight straight and the way they were playing. … You couldn’t see things turning around.”
Pau did indicated that Marc “was upset about the game” in which Gasol was benched by Fizdale and went on to say that the move by the Grizzlies’ now-former coach “was not OK.” Beyond that, Pau continued to speculate concerning the reason Memphis moved on from Fizdale, even saying “it wasn’t the losses but the way they were playing, the attitude, the body language.”
Obviously, it should come as no surprise that Pau would come to Marc’s defense in this particular instance but Pau is also theoretically closer to the Grizzlies’ thought process than most outsiders, both because of his relationship to Marc and as a former player for the franchise. The full-blown truth likely won’t come to light in this situation but we know that Fizdale is no longer the head coach and at least one person isn’t pinning it on the team’s star big man.