The Memphis Grizzlies lost their last eight games, and have decided to part ways with head coach David Fizdale. They have only won one game in their last ten, a victory that came at the Trail Blazers’ expense earlier in November. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Fizdale will be replaced by associate head coach JB Bickerstaff.
Memphis has fired coach David Fizdale, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 27, 2017
Associate head coach JB Bickerstaff will be promoted to Memphis' interim head coach, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 27, 2017
Memphis has been without veteran point guard Mike Conley for the last six games due to an achilles injury, and star center Marc Gasol recently voiced his displeasure with Fizdale’s decision to bench him in the final quarter of the Grizzlies loss to the Nets on Sunday.
According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, this isn’t the first time Gasol and Fizdale have had a disagreement.
Word out of Memphis this past summer already was Marc Gasol and Coach Fizdale were on very poor terms after some confrontations in practice. Seemed inevitable they'd have to pick between one or the other eventually. This isn't some recent thing.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) November 27, 2017
Fizdale’s abrupt firing has created a buzz across the NBA landscape.
I need some answers. Feels like my man was a fall guy— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 27, 2017
David Fizdale firing was so stunning I had to check, double-check & triple-check Woj's Twitter account to make sure it was legit. I then made sure it was a legit blue check, went over to Woj's Twitter page & scrolled down again because I didn't want to be duped by a fake account— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) November 27, 2017
This will be the second time in Bickerstaff’s career that he will assume interim head coaching duties. Bickerstaff took over the Rockets’ head coaching job after Kevin McHale was fired at the outset of the 2015-16 season.
The Blazers have already played the Grizzlies twice this season, and they will have to wait until March 28 to cross paths with Memphis again.