The Los Angeles Lakers have filled Jason Kidd’s assistant coaching vacancy that was left behind after he took the head-coaching job with the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers are bringing in David Fizdale, former head coach of the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies, to complete their coaching staff, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
This isn’t that surprising of a hire, considering Fizdale’s ties to franchise superstar LeBron James. Fizdale served as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat when James won two championships there. He’s a highly respected and well-liked coach by players around the league, including James and former teammate Dwyane Wade, who have been vocally supportive of him in the past. He’s been out of coaching since he was unceremoniously fired by the Knicks in 2019 early in his second year with the franchise after a rough 4-18 start to the season.
In his four years as a head coach, Fizdale has only made the playoffs one time, and has only coached two full seasons with two different teams. When he was brought on as the Grizzlies head coach during the 2016-17 season, he guided a mostly veteran team — led by Mike Conley and Marc Gasol — into the first round of the playoffs. However, tension between Fizdale and Gasol, who now plays for the Lakers, led to Fizdale’s firing 19 games into the 2017-18 season.
He was hired by the Knicks the following season, but two unsuccessful years in New York led to his dismissal. Yet as we saw with Kidd recently, a couple years with LeBron and the Anthony Davis-led Lakers can help revitalize a head-coaching career, and if that’s what Fizdale ultimately wants, Los Angeles is the right opportunity for him.
Courtesy: CBS Sports