MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A new New York Daily News report describes the rift between former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale and the locker room before he was fired last year.
Fizdale was recently hired by the New York Knicks to be their head coach, less than a year after he was fired by Memphis just 19 games into the season.
After his firing, it was heavily reported that Fizdale did not get along with All-Star big man Marc Gasol.
According to the New York Daily News, Fizdale tried to push "the Miami Heat way" upon the Grizzlies.
The Grit-n-Grind mantra that had carried the Grizzlies for nearly a decade was no more as the Grizzlies moved on from Zach Randolph and Tony Allen—a move that reportedly upset many in the Grizzlies locker room, especially Gasol.
NYDN said Fizdale went around the locker room and asked about their belief in winning a championship following a tough loss. Gasol spoke up, they said, stating bluntly that the team did not have the right leader.
"I get it, you want Gregg Popovich, and I want LeBron James," a source told NYDN was said in the locker room.
As Gasol morphed from an inside scorer to a center that could play around the perimeter, the team lagged behind, missing the magic that made the Grit-n-Grind-era Grizzlies so tough to beat.
The rift, if true, can help further explain the shocking firing of Fizdale, who took the Grizzlies to the playoffs in his first and lone full season at the helm.
J.B. Bickerstaff, who served as interim head coach for the rest of the 2017-18 season, was given the head coaching job last week on a three-year deal.