Tuesday 18th December 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

Marc Gasol Denies Playing a Role in Memphis Grizzlies Firing David Fizdale

Marc Gasol Denies Playing a Role in Memphis Grizzlies Firing David Fizdale

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol won’t be accepting any responsibility for the Memphis Grizzlies firing David Fizdale on Monday.

Many are of the mind that his less-than-warm relationship with the head coach contributed to the decision just as much, if not more, than the team’s recent 2-11 stretch. The two have apparently been on rocky terms for quite some time, despite Gasol enjoying a career year under Fizdale last season. And tensions appeared to boil over following Memphis’ Sunday evening loss to the Brooklyn Net, when Gasol uncharacteristically complained to the media about being benched in the fourth quarter.

When pressed about the issue by The Commercial Appeal‘s Peter Edmiston, though, Gasol said he was just as shocked by the news as everyone else:

Marc Gasol: “I was shocked by (the firing)

Me: Did you ask for Fizdale to be fired?

Marc: “No. Not at all.”

Me: Did you speak to Robert Pera?

Marc: “I spoke to Robert – I found out after the decision was made. They let me know the direction but not before the decision was made.”

I asked Marc if he was concerned he was going to be perceived as a coach-killer: “That’s all right. There’s nothing I can do about that. Nothing I can do. All I can do is win, try to figure out (the problem), own my part, my responsibility for the record we have.”

 Maybe Gasol didn’t know the Grizzlies were preparing to can Fizdale. If you can believe LeBron James didn’t have a direct hand in David Blatt’s dismissal a couple seasons ago, you can certainly believe that.
But however the Grizzlies went about this decision doesn’t really matter. Whether they talked to Gasol about it, or whether he asked for it is irrelevant. By firing Fizdale at all, they’ve chosen a side—the one that includes Gasol. At its core, this move reeks of a team trying to incite positive change rather than delving into a rebuild. And if the Grizzlies’ aren’t gearing up for a reset, then they of course had Gasol on their mind when delivering this verdict.

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