Lakers News: What Does David Fizdale Bring to the Coaching Staff Despite Concerns?

Former Knicks and Grizzlies coach joins LA's staff
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The former Knicks and Grizzlies coach David Fizdale was recently hired by the Los Angeles Lakers to be the lead assistant coach under Frank Vogel.

Fizdale was the Memphis Grizzlies head coach for over 100 games in 2016 and 2017, leading them to one playoff berth. After that he took a coaching job with the New York Knicks in 2018, but was fired after a horrific start. He was also an assistant coach for three different teams.

The concerns over Fizdale are mostly due to the poor performance the Knicks had when he was a coach. That said, it is the Knicks, and bad things just tend to happen there over the last decade, regardless of who is at the helm. As for his tenure with the Grizzlies, eight straight losses and and a very public feud with their then star player, Marc Gasol, complicated things and then lead to his dismissal. The other concerns, quite frankly, would be that his win/loss record as a coach is not exactly a stellar number. 

Those things aside, his reputation is that he is a good communicator, and of course no surprise here: has always gotten along well with Lakers star and leader, LeBron James. Let's face it--if a coach gets along well with the team's best player, that counts for a lot, if not the entire hiring decision. 

The other things Fizdale can bring to the table are pure experience. Fizdale was an assistant coach for over 13 seasons. If a coach can successfully work under someone else for that amount of time, perhaps their best strength is as an assistant coach. Fizdale did player development while in Miami, which means he did an excellent job filling the role players in to grow around Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. 

Having yet more experience on the Lakers bench (even if that is the coaching bench) can only be a good thing to help lead these Lakers to a championship.