Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale has been fired, just one day after he chose to bench the team's All-Star center Marc Gasol during the fourth quarter of the their loss to the Brooklyn Nets. "Coach Fizdale represented the Grizzlies and City of Memphis proudly, and we wish him well as he continues his career". The Grizzlies are now on their third head coach since the end of the 2013 season when they didn't renew Lionel Hollins' contract. "We remain focused on achieving sustainable, long-term success".
In a news release, the Grizzlies stated associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff will serve as interim head coach.
The Grizzlies started off the season with a string of wins but have slumped to a 7-12 record this season, putting them at 12th in the West.
The Warriors will play the Grizzlies Dec. 20 at Oracle Arena.
Wojnarowski reported Fizdale's "tepid relationship with All-Star center Marc Gasol reached a low point with Gasol's fourth-quarter benching in a loss to Brooklyn on Sunday night".
"I need some answers".
Fizdale built up a strong reputation as an assistant coach, most notably helping the Miami Heat win back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013, before becoming an National Basketball Association head coach for the first time when the Grizzlies hired him in May of 2016.
"David Fizdale firing was so stunning I had to check, double-check & triple-check Woj's Twitter account to make sure it was legit", Michael Lee of "The Vertical" wrote. "Feels like my man was a fall guy", James tweeted.
"I was shocked today when I heard the news", Kerr said ahead of his matchup against the Sacramento Kings.
David Fizdale was assistant coach of the Miami Heat in 2008. Before that, Bickerstaff spent three seasons (2004-07) with the Charlotte Bobcats.