September 5, 2016, 9:12 am
The Memphis Grizzlies wanted to go in a different direction, choosing to dismiss Dave Joerger despite a strong run of play that made Memphis a well-respected team around the league. They tabbed Heat assistant David Fizdale to replace him and hope that he can be the one to take the team to new heights.
Fizdale, for his part, wouldn’t have it any other way. In an interview with Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, Fizdale mentioned his desire to join an already-good team.
“I saw an opportunity to take a team from being good to great. If I could have any situation, that was the one I wanted.”
Memphis does present an intriguing opportunity as a team with a proven track record of success and a variety of steady veteran hands. They didn’t need to make a coaching change but maybe a new voice will give them an extra jolt this season. There’s certainly potential here with Chandler Parsons producing a more offensively-inclined group but health will be the major determinant once more for the Grizz.
On the flip side, Fizdale might find himself in a rebuilding project sooner rather than later. If the team doesn’t take strides in short order, management and ownership might give up the ghost and disband the current core. If that happens it’ll undoubtedly be a painful process considering any assets Memphis would want to sell are unlikely to return major, franchise-rejuvenating hauls. Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Parsons and Zach Randolph are all valuable guys but each comes with a variety of concerns including age and injury risk that would cap their worth on the trade market.
Whatever the outcome, Memphis will be a fascinating team to watch in the immediate future.