After a little over a year as the Memphis Grizzlies head coach, david fizdale was released by the team just 19 games into the 2017-18 season. It was a controversial move, as it came after Fizdale decided to bench star center Marc Gasol for the whole fourth quarter of a close game. Gasol publicly addressed the situation and voiced displeasure with it, but at the end of the day respected the coach’s decision.

Memphis had a 7-12 record at the time and the front office thought it was best for the team to continue without Fizdale moving forward. Three months later and Fizdale already has his eye on a new job.

According to Mitch Lawrence from Sporting News, coach Fizdale “has his eye on the Lakers job.” He is a Los Angeles native and attended Fremont High School in L.A., so this should not come as a big surprise. While the Lakers organization has previously shown support for Luke Walton, their current head coach, he lacks an important characteristic that Fizdale has: a strong relationship with LeBron James.

The Lakers plan to go after big name free agents this summer with the likes of LeBron James and Paul George, also an L.A. native, topping their priority list. Fizdale spent nine years with the Miami Heat as an assistant coach in Erik Spoelstra’s staff from 2008 to 2016. LeBron played for the Heat from 2010 to 2014 and won two NBA championships. Fizdale’s bond with James got stronger as years went by and LeBron has been vocal with his support on Fizdale since their Miami days.

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Right after news broke out that Memphis had fired Fizdale earlier this season, James reacted on Twitter:

As Lawrence reports, “the feeling is that [Fizdale’s] strong ties to James can help the Lakers land LeBron when free agency opens on July 1. […] The league view is if the Lakers can land James with Fizdale’s help, they’ll have to move on from Luke Walton.”