MEMPHIS, Tenn. — David Fizdale is out as the Memphis Grizzlies' head coach, team general manager Chris Wallace announced.
Grizzlies associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has been named interim head coach.
“After a thorough evaluation, I decided a change in course was necessary to move forward and provide the team and organization its best chance at success this season and beyond,” Wallace said. “Coach Fizdale represented the Grizzlies and City of Memphis proudly, and we wish him well as he continues his career.”
“Coach Fizdale worked tirelessly to achieve on-court success, and for that, we are grateful. We wish him and his family all the best in the future,” Grizzlies Controlling Owner Robert J. Pera said. “We remain focused on achieving sustainable, long-term success.”
The Grizzlies started off the season with a string of wins but have slumped to a 7-12 record this season after an eight-game losing streak, putting them at 12th in the West.
Fizdale was announced as the Grizzlies coach in 2016 and had a 50-51 record in his two seasons at Memphis.
He's been popular both on and off-court, but his relationship with All-Star Marc Gasol has been awkward. That may have come to a head Sunday night when Fizdale benched Gasol for the fourth quarter during a loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Memphis has fired coach David Fizdale, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 27, 2017
Can't believe coach Fizdale just got fired. #Grizzlies
— The Husky Luke Cage (@stateofcorbin) November 27, 2017
“Come to Memphis. Choose 901.”
“BREAKING: Memphis fires Fizdale”
— Kirstin L. Cheers (@kirstinlcheers) November 27, 2017
I was at the game last night and we had just said that Fizdale needs to go. It was painful to watch.
— cindy def (@cz_def) November 27, 2017
Loved you Fizdale. Thanks for shining light on the city of Memphis and standing up for whats right. But, life goes on. I will continue to rep #GNG. Now let's get fired up and win some damn games.
— Jeremy Jordan (@gritgrind) November 27, 2017
I like Fizdale a lot. Understanding that his dismissal likely was related to Gasol's frustration as well, it's tough to see a coach get fired for dropping games while the point guard is hurt. If Portland lost seven or eight games without Dame, and Stotts got axed, I'd be livid.
— David MacKay (@DavidMacKayNBA) November 27, 2017
Fizdale DATA plan ran out. https://t.co/uwb3wihRSa
— Ben Colar (@bencolar) November 27, 2017