Memphis Grizzlies: David Fizdale reveals what missing piece was

Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

David Fizdale believes the Memphis Grizzlies had a higher ceiling

David Fizdale’s season and a half leading the way as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies was short-lived. His stint with the New York Knicks, at least in terms of length, was almost identical.

Fizdale was fired from both jobs after disappointing starts to the second season. Hardly given an opportunity to turn things around, plenty were critical of his decision making as the coach of both squads.

Fizdale had a winning record in his first season with Memphis but failed to advance past the first round of the postseason. Some believe his firing was a huge mistake.

Looking back on his early coaching career on a recent podcast, Fizdale pointed to some of the major issues that plagued the team when he was in Memphis.

David Fizdale speaks on what the Grizzlies needed

Speaking to Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles of the Knuckleheads podcast, Fizdale reflected on his time in Memphis.

For Fizdale, all signs point to one place — Chandler Parsons.

"“I think the toughest thing that year for us was we ended up signing Chandler Parsons to a big contract and I couldn’t get him on the court. And that was the missing piece for us.”"

Parsons was signed to a four-year, $96 million deal in the 2014 offseason by the Grizzlies, but his career in Memphis was anticlimactic. Recovering from a knee surgery, Parsons would never even get close to the player he was prior to coming to play for the Grizzlies. In two and a half seasons, Parsons only saw the floor in 95 games.

His best season with the team was probably 2017-18, where he averaged 7.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Quite an investment for that stat line.

While it may not have been Parsons specifically that Fizdale wanted, he admits that a player of Parsons’ potential would have completed the Grizzlies:

"“If we would have had that big wing like you, D-Miles, like a big swing three man that can play basically point from the three, that would’ve opened our team up, we would have been deadly then.”"

Fizdale mentions he still feels like the Grizzlies were a great team, credit to Marc Gasoll and Mike Conley.

"“But we still ended up being a really good team, you know, Marc evolved into this big-time 3-point shooter, Mike Conley averaged 22 a night for me after averaging 15, 16 a night in his career.”"

We’ll never know how Fizdale’s coaching career in Memphis truly could have panned out with a completely healthy roster.

Next. 15 best draft picks in Grizzlies history. dark