David Fizdale, former head coach of the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies, is returning to the NBA. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that the Los Angeles Lakers are hiring Fizdale as an assistant coach.
The Lakers are presumably hiring Fizdale to replace former assistant coach Jason Kidd, who was recently hired as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks.
Fizdale has been coaching in the NBA since 2003. He spent the first 13 years of his NBA career as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat. He spent eight years with the Heat, which is where he first worked with LeBron James. The Heat won two consecutive championships during James' four seasons with the team.
The Grizzlies hired Fizdale as head coach in 2016. His first season was largely successful, but he was fired 19 games into his second season amid an eight-game losing streak and a 7-12 start. Just six months later he signed a four-year contract to be the head coach of the Knicks, but he'd only hold that job for 19 months. The Knicks won just 17 games in Fizdale's first season, and he was fired in December 2019 after the Knicks started the season with a 4-18 record.
According to Wojnarowski, Fizdale has been pursued for multiple lead assistant positions this offseason. It appears that he had his pick of destinations, and chose to join head coach Frank Vogel and return to what he was doing successfully a decade ago: coaching LeBron.
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