Just 19 games into his second year with the Memphis Grizzlies, david fizdale was fired. Said firing was controversial. After all, he won 43 games the previous season, leading the team into the playoffs. Fizdale reflected on those days in Memphis, highlighting his relationship with Marc Gasol.
As reported by Stefan Bondy of NY Daily News, he noted that there was a rift between him and the Spaniard, but tagged it as “normal stuff.”
“That’s the league. The best player and the coach aren’t always going to get along and that’s just how it goes sometimes,” Fizdale said on ESPN. “He was the best player on teams and I’m sure he didn’t always love his coach. It’s just unfortunate circumstances how it all played out on the stage. But that’s just normal stuff. Whether we like each or not it’s not about that, it’s about winning games.”
Via his own words, it seems that the main root of the problem was the failure of head coach and star player to co-exist. This has been a common problem in the NBA. Star caliber players already have a good grasp of how to win. The head coach serves as his comrade in this objective, not a boss who orders him around.
It seems that Fizdale has absorbed every lesson in that Grizzlies episode. For all its worth, he’s landed the head coaching position with the New York Knicks. Safe to say that he’ll bring all the lessons he learned along with him:
“I have mistakes that I made and things that I want to grow from and learn. So whatever kind of team that is – whether that’s a contender or a young team trying to be a contender or a young team trying to develop — I’m ready to face it all.”
Maybe the Marc Gasol and David Fizdale relationship didn’t work out together, but can workout for everyone in the long run.