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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra implies David Fizdale didn’t get ample ‘opportunity’ with Grizzlies

David Fizdale

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is obviously not an objective observer when it comes to close friend and former colleague Dave Fizdale. Nevertheless, Spoelstra believes Fizdale wasn’t given a fair shake in Memphis to lead the Grizzlies through their transition.

Per Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald:

“You want him to have a fair shot at it and to be able to go through some tough times, some adverse times, through a transition period that the organization was going through. And that’s what the thought was – that there would be a transition and an opportunity to build a different culture. Unfortunately he wasn’t given that opportunity.”

Fizdale was fired from the Grizzlies earlier this season after just over a year in charge. His team went on a disastrous eight-game losing streak under his watch, most of which was without star point guard Mike Conley.

There was also speculation that his relationship with All-Star big man Marc Gasol was not the greatest and that his benching of Gasol against the Brooklyn Nets was the catalyst for his firing.

While Spoelstra enjoys more job security than most because of the stable leadership in Miami, it’s just the harsh reality in the rest of the NBA that when things go wrong within a team, ownership/management can lose sight of the big picture and the head coach will almost inevitably be the fall guy. Unfortunately for Fizdale, he had to learn that the hard way.