Memphis Strikes Again

It’s been a week and it still stings……

I guess the idiot bug is spreading in the Memphis Grizzlies front office.  Every plausible excuse for the David Fizdale firing is just simply not good enough.  I’m more than frustrated for a coach that was respected by many in the league such as LeBron James and Miami Heat President Pat Riley.

Let’s take a look at Fizdale’s accomplishments in Memphis, keep in mind he’s only been there for a year…

He gained a 50-51 record, scored and allowed 10,116 points exactly.  The Grizzlies made the playoffs last season despite using 25 different starting rotations due to a rash of injuries that plagued the team.  Lastly, the Grizzlies are the only team with a winning record against the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs in the previous two seasons.

Erik Spoelstra, Head Coach of the Miami Heat, told reporters he had trouble sleeping after hearing the news of his former comrade.  Former Heat players LeBron James and Dwyane Wade went to twitter demanding answers from the Grizzlies organization.  Coaches from the coaches association like Gregg Popovich and Rick Carlisle have nothing but praise for coach Fizdale.

“He did a hell of a job. I don’t think he’s going to have any problem landing. He’s a good man and he knows what he’s doing,” San Antonio Head Coach Gregg Popovich said.

However, this doesn’t shock me in any way as the Grizzlies are known to stab their coaches in the back.  Exhibit A, former Grizzlies Head Coach Lionel Hollins, led the team to a 56-26 record and made the Western Conference Finals.  They fired him.  Exhibit B, former Grizzlies Head Coach Dave Joerger had a solid three-year tenure with the team before Fizdale.  They fired him.

Now, there’s some background that you need to understand to somehow wrap your head around this malfeasance.

Last year, according to Forbes, Robert Pera had a company of his drop five percent in the stock market which is a sizeable loss.  In relevancy, the Grizzlies lost $40 million.

Now there’s financial pressure on the organization as a whole.  Ownership has decided that money makers are their most valuable assets.  So it sounds like whatever is going to keep the fan base and keep tickets selling will be prioritized.

As history goes, the Grizzlies then showed veterans Zach Randolph and Tony Allen the door, two of Fizdale’s favorite guys on the team.

Stephen Jackson told Shannon Sharpe on FS1 Undisputed,

Anytime you go to war you need your soldiers.  They took his soldiers away.”

Ownership stated that the reason for this firing was to save the season and appease its star in Marc Gasol…

What season did you have to begin with?  The Grizzlies are 8-15 right now in a loaded Western Conference.  Is ownership showing where their loyalty really lies? Why not trust the coach who is known for being a player’s coach to advance your team.

Isn’t that ironic, the player’s coach clashes with one of the top players.  Apparently, Gasol and Fizdale have always had this sort of beef between each other.  However, the bridge wasn’t completely burned until Gasol decided to vent to the media.

The situation between Gasol and Fizdale could’ve easily been handled more smoothly.  Fizdale could’ve explained to the side why he benched Gasol. Gasol didn’t have to go to the media and make it a “me or him” kind of situation.

Why would Gasol think he’s that good and that valuable to the franchise.  Yes, he’s one of the best bigs in the league.  However, at 33, he’s not getting any better.  His play has trended downward.  The league is seeing exponential growth at the big position now in Embiid, Porzingis, Towns, Simmons, Anthony Davis, etc.  So if you were an NBA GM, would you trade for Gasol? Do you really think he can compete for the next few years with these players?  I think not.

So why appease mediocrity if you can invest in someone who can potentially bring out the best in a roster that needs rebuilding and has already seen its best days?

I just don’t get the logic…

Joshua K. Saunders

One comment

  • Valid perspective and excellent synopsis of the Grizzlies organization and recent ordeal involving head coach…. great humor and impressive writing flair.


Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s