David Fizdale is a 41-year-old assistant coach with a record of success in eight years with the Miami Heat. At least he was until this week, when Fizdale became the latest first-time head coach the Memphis Grizzlies have tapped to try to tap the team’s potential. Miami is a superb training ground — the Heat organization has great pedigree from team president Pat Riley all the way through to stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Fizdale was on the bench for the Heat’s two most recent championships and coached the 2010 and 2012 Heat summer league teams. He’s a winner — that’s what management looks for. Fizdale is also known as a “player’s coach” — increasingly a requirement. (See Tyronn Lue, Cleveland Cavaliers.)
Fizdale takes over for Dave Joerger, who drove the Grizz to the playoffs for three straight seasons, but who couldn’t get them past the formidable Western Conference competition and into a Finals. that failure makes Fizdale’s mandate in Memphis clear. The Heat were quick to congratulate their own on the move. Now it’s the Fiz and the Grizz. And it still all depends on Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. And Zebo, of course.
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Congrats, Fiz! pic.twitter.com/jgDq16s2aa
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 29, 2016