David Fizdale has agreed to leave his post as Erik Spoelstra’s right-hand man on the Miami Heat bench to become the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Fizdale, who spent eight seasons with the Heat, including the past two as the assistant head coach, reached a three-year deal with Memphis, and the Grizzlies have an option for a fourth season, according to Yahoo’s The Vertical.
Current and former Heat players have applauded the hire on social media.
“#Fiz2Grizz I like that,” Dwyane Wade tweeted.
“Fizz to Memphis huh,” former Heat guard Mario Chalmers tweeted. “Great coach and an even better person. Happy for my guy fizz.”
“Congrats to David Fizdale aka Fiz on becoming a new Head coach of the @memgrizz !!!,” tweeted Beno Udrih, whom the Heat acquired from the Grizzlies in the November trade of Chalmers.
Fizdale’s departure means Spoelstra could turn to Dan Craig to serve as his lead assistant. Craig spent 12 years as a Heat assistant before leading the Heat’s D-League team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, to the league title last month and being named the league’s coach of the year.
Miami also has Juwan Howard and Keith Smart on staff. Chris Quinn serves as the assistant coach for player development.
▪ The Heat didn’t land a player on the league’s three All-NBA teams but center Hassan Whiteside did garner a first place vote and 24 points overall in the voting.
Whiteside, who led the NBA in blocks and finished third in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, ranked seventh among players also receiving votes. On Wednesday he was named to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team.