Grizzlies fire head coach David Fizdale

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Grizzlies fired head coach David Fizdale.

The Grizzlies are mired in an 8-game losing streak and sit at 7-12 after a hot start, sparking controversial comments from Marc Gasol.

"After a thorough evaluation, I decided a change in course was necessary to move forward and provide the team and organization its best chance at success this season and beyond," Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace said. "Coach Fizdale represented the Grizzlies and City of Memphis proudly, and we wish him well as he continues his career."

Gasol was benched in the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies loss to the Nets on Sunday. He made it clear he was not happy with the decision.

"If I'm not on the floor, that means I'm not valued," Gasol said. "I'm sure they wouldn't do it to Mike [Conley]."

Fizdale was hired by the Grizzlies ahead of the 2015-16 season and amassed a 50-51 record in the Bluff City.

Associate head coach JB Bickerstaff will serve as interim head coach.

Bickerstaff last served as interim head coach in Houston, where he led the Rockets to the 2016 playoffs.

"It screams instability something is going on in the front office," said Grizzlies fan Kirstin Cheers.

"I think he made a mistake when he had Gasol sit out last night," said fan Janice Harbor.

"We are picking Gasol in the short term, over Fizdale in the long term, but we will see how it pans out," said fan Taylor Wigs.

Grizzlies fans have varied opinions on what impact Fizdale's firing will have on the team.

"I'm glad to see him go, it's time for a change, that things are going backwards," Harbor said.

But one fan says she will miss Fizdale's influence off the court.

"The people depended on Fizdale for his stance, his politics, he was really a voice for the people," Cheers said.

Cheers said Fizdale's willingness to speak out on controversial issues meant a lot in a city with a history tied to social change, and she hopes the next coach will do the same.

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