Grizzlies fire head coach David Fizdale after losing 8 straight, name J.B. Bickerstaff as replacement
Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale has been fired after the team has lost eight straight games, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff has been promoted to interim coach, with his duties starting immediately upon Fizdale’s departure.
Fizdale has been mired in several losses, constantly searching for a solution in the midst of injuries to his starters Mike Conley and JaMychal Green as well as the poor play of his key reserves. The helmsman recently benched star center Marc Gasol for the entire fourth quarter, as his small-ball unit on the floor had managed to make a dent into the 14-point deficit at the end of the third quarter.
Gasol watched from the sidelines as his team took a 10-point loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the eighth consecutive and one that put the team in code red alert.
Fizdale noted he was trying to go with the unit that was making a change, as Gasol was mired in a 6-of-17 shooting night — but since his maverick strategy panned out on a 98-88 team to a less-than-stellar team in the Eastern Conference, it spelled the end of his short tenure in Memphis.
The Grizzlies are now 7-12 after the loss after a brilliant 5-1 start to the regular season. Fizdale was named head coach of the Grizzlies shortly after the end of the 2015-16 regular season after spending several seasons with the Miami Heat, posting a 43-39 record in his first season with the team, along with a first-round exit from the postseason.