AP Source: David Fizdale accepts offer as Grizzlies coach
The Memphis Grizzlies have their new coach: David Fizdale.
The Miami Heat assistant has accepted the Grizzlies' offer to be their next coach, a person familiar with the negotiations said. Fizdale as accepted the offer after he met with Memphis controlling owner Robert Pera on Wednesday in California, the person said, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Grizzlies have not commented on the negotiations.
Yahoo! Sports first reported Fizdale has agreed to a four-year deal.
Fizdale replaces Dave Joerger, who was fired May 7 after three seasons and three playoff appearances. This will be Fizdale's first head coaching job. He has been with the Heat since the 2008-09 season and has been assistant head coach the past two seasons.
The Grizzlies are giving a longtime NBA assistant his first head coaching opportunity during an offseason when many other teams have hired NBA head coaching veterans such as Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota, Nate McMillan in Indiana and Frank Vogel in Orlando.
They wrapped up their selection process less than three weeks after dismissing Joerger, who has since been hired as Sacramento's head coach. Memphis also considered former Grizzlies and Nets coach Lionel Hollins, Charlotte assistant Patrick Ewing, Portland assistant Nate Tibbets, Spurs assistants James Borrego and Ettore Messina as well as Vogel.
In Miami, Fizdale helped with player development and game preparation. He also coached the Heat's summer league teams in 2010 and 2012.
Fizdale also was an assistant coach with Golden State in 2003-04 and the Atlanta Hawks between 2004 and 2008. He started coaching as an assistant at his alma mater, the University of San Diego, in 1998 through 2002 where he was a three-year starter at point guard. Fizdale spent a season as Miami's video intern in 1997-98.
Memphis also considered former Grizzlies and Nets coach Lionel Hollins, Charlotte assistant Patrick Ewing, Portland assistant Nate Tibbets, Spurs assistants James Borrego and Ettore Messina and Frank Vogel, who took the Orlando job last week.
The Grizzlies have the NBA's third-longest postseason streak currently at six straight seasons behind only San Antonio (19) and Atlanta (9).
Now that they've found their coach, the Grizzlies can concentrate on personnel matters.
The Grizzlies are waiting for center Marc Gasol's broken right foot to heal after his season ended in February. Point guard Mike Conley is due to become a free agent after left Achilles tendinitis ended his season in early March, and Memphis also has to decide whether to exercise the option on Lance Stephenson and if they should keep Vince Carter, JaMychal Green and Xavier Munford.
AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.