Former Miami assistant David Fizdale compliments Heat culture

Shandel Richardson

Former Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale dropped yet another endorsement for the team's strong winning culture.

While speaking on ESPN radio earlier this week, the topic surfaced when discussing the firing of Brookly Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. Players reportedly led the move because of their distaste for Atkinson.

Fizdale, who an assistant in Miami from 2008-16, used his time with the Heat to display how strong management would have prevented the situation.

“When it comes to players with power, your front office has to really be strong and your culture has to be strong to weather disgruntled players,” said Fizdale, who held head coaching jobs with the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies. “And you have to have a certain amount of support for your coach so when things get turbulent."

Fizdale was with the Heat during the LeBron James years, the peak time for problems to arise between the front-office and a star player. The Heat had few incidents in those four years, winning two titles in four straight trips to the NBA Finals.

“I’ll give you a perfect example, it wasn’t always perfect in Miami between (coach Erik Spoelstra) and LeBron. But one thing we knew for sure, Spo wasn’t going anywhere, because he had the support of (team president Pat Riley and owner Mickey Arison), from the standpoint of, ‘This is our culture, this is how we do things, and everyone has to adjust to that.’ That’s the thing I respect so much about those teams like San Antonio and Miami, they make the players adapt to their culture. They don’t go the other way.”  

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