One of the more interesting situations welcoming a rookie NBA head coach this year was the one David Fizdale walked into for the Memphis Grizzlies. Fizdale replaced a coach in Dave Joerger who had been fired despite never missing the playoffs and averaging 49 wins in his 3-year tenure. Not only that but Fizdale was charged with getting the Grizzlies up to speed with an NBA that has seemingly zoomed by Memphis’ old-fashioned “Grit & Grind” style filled with 2-big lineups, post-ups and walking the ball up the court. Great stuff on the changes Fizdale has implemented in Memphis. Loved the stuff on the intricacies of the Gasol/Conley dribble hand-offs, “organizational consistency,” Spoelstra’s priority for the team’s practice facility, and the chemistry within the Grizzlies core.
NBA team dynamics are fraught with the politics of credit. Everyone wants to be appreciated for their skills, featured, and paid accordingly. Memphis isn’t immune to those influences but is, through the continuity of its leadership, shielded from it. “It’s obviously impressive to see how they can say things to each other and not personalize it and just be able to move on,” Fizdale said. Constructive criticism can be issued without the thought of some other agenda. Disagreements can be had without bile or baggage. Even as the Grizzlies evolve beyond grit and grind, the connections forged in that ethos survive in a valuable, progressive function.
For more on Fizdale:
-Fizdale is bringing Miami Heat culture to the Grit ‘n’ Grind Grizz (LINK)
-Fizdale makes strong first impression (LINK)
-Fizdale has energy, experience that Grizzlies sought (LINK)
-Fizdale has a plan for the next evolution in Memphis Grizzlies basketball (LINK)
-Aldridge: Q&A with Grizzlies’ David Fizdale (LINK)