The Los Angeles Lakers have found their replacement for outgoing assistant coach Jason Kidd. The team is close to finalizing a deal to hire former New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale to join their staff according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Lakers are finalizing a deal to hire former Knicks and Grizzlies coach David Fizdale as an assistant coach, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2021
Fizdale is known for his relationship with LeBron James when he was a longtime assistant on Erik Spoelstra’s staff with the Miami Heat during the “Big 3” era with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Wojnarowski reports that Fiz had several options for lead assistant openings before joining Frank Vogel’s staff.
David’s two opportunities as head coach have not been as successful as his time in Miami. Both head coaching tenures lasted less than two seasons with quick exits in the second seasons.
In New York, he was fired just 22 games into the 2019-20 season with a 21-83 overall as Knicks coach. In Memphis, Fizdale surprised many by taking the Grizzlies to the playoffs in his first season. It was then that he was known for his infamous rant that he closed with “take that for data!”.
The next season after reports of a falling out with Marc Gasol and questionable changes to the roster, he was fired after a 7-12 start in the 2017-18 season with a final record of 50-51 overall. A firing that LeBron, D-Wade, and others publicly questioned.
The Lakers are adding one of the more highly respected and well-liked coaches by players around the League with lots of coaching experience. Fizdale was an assistant with the Golden State Warriors in 2003-04, and the Atlanta Hawks (2004-08) before moving on to Miami from 2008 to 2016.