Who is David Fizdale?
David Fizdale is a professional basketball coach from America who is currently affiliated with the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) as their head coach. In past, he worked as the head coach for the Memphis Grizzlies. A native of Los Angeles, Fizdale studied at John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles, where he served as a point guard for the school's basketball team. He then enrolled at the University of San Diego, from where he obtained a B.A. degree in communications with a minor in sociology. From 2003 to 2016, he was employed as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat. In May 2016, he was appointed as the head coach for the Memphis Grizzlies. Early in his second season with the team, Fizdale lost his job due to poor records and controversial decisions. In May 2018, he joined the New York Knicks as their head coach.
Childhood & Early Life
David Fizdale was born on June 16, 1974, in Los Angeles, California, USA. His mother, Helen Hamilton, is black while his father is white. David was brought up by his mother on her own, as his father left the family quite early. However, his paternal grandparents had been part of his life since the beginning. David regularly went to their house, which was located in the affluent Avenue of the Stars.
Since he was quite young, he was exposed to the violence of the streets of Los Angeles. Over the years, he has lost several friends and family members, including his maternal grandfather, to gun violence. He was racially profiled and pulled over several times by the police. One of his childhood friends was WNBA star Tina Thompson, who resided in the same apartment complex as him.
Fizdale was a student at John C. Fremont High School and part of their basketball program, playing as a point guard. After he obtained his high-school diploma, he enrolled at the University of San Diego. He received his B.A. degree in communications with a minor in sociology.
In the four seasons (1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96) he played for the San Diego Toreros, Fizdale appeared in 93 games in total, with 2.6 field goals per game, 4.1 2-point field goals per game, 0.6 3-point field goals per game, and 8.0 points per game. During his senior season, he was included in All-West Coast Conference and registered seven assists in average.
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Early Coaching Carer
David Fizdale was employed as an intern in the Miami Heat video department. Later, he was hired to be an assistant coach at his alma mater. This was his first coaching job. He served there for four seasons, from 1998 to 2002, and garnered some success. Kyle Smith, who worked with Fizdale during this period, praised the other man for his charisma and understanding of the game.
He left San Diego in 2002 and subsequently joined Fresno State as an assistant coach. After spending a year there, he was offered a coaching job at the Golden State Warriors.
Between 2003 and 2004, he spent one season with the Warriors, working as an assistant coach under head coach Eric Musselman. Fizdale then became part of the coaching team of the Atlanta Hawks, where he served for four seasons between 2004 and 2008.
From 2008 to 2016, Fizdale had an eight-season-long tenure with Miami Heat, during which he worked with some of the best players in the world, developing personal relationships with them. He also helped Miami win two NBA Championships (2012 and 2013).
At the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge during the NBA All-Star Weekend, he served as the coach of Team Shaq, a squad chosen by Shaquille O'Neal, opposite San Antonio Spurs' assistant coach Mike Budenholzer’s Team Chuck, selected by Charles Barkley. Fizdale’s team lost the match 163-135.
Fizdale was appointed the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies on May 29, 2016. Under his leadership, the Grizzlies won 43 of their 82 games in the 2016-17 season. They made it to the playoffs but were eliminated in the first round.
In the 2017-18 season, the team won seven out of 19 games before the Grizzlies fired him on November 27, 2017. His decision to bench Marc Gasol during the fourth quarter of a game drew much criticism and is considered to be one of the main reasons for his firing.
New York Knicks
On May 7, 2018, it was revealed that Fizdale had become the head coach of the New York Knicks. The announcement came right after he had entered into a four-year contract with the team. The Knicks won 17 out of their 82 games that season and did not qualify for the playoffs.
Family & Personal Life
In mid-2013, David Fizdale asked his long-time girlfriend, marketer Natasha Sen, to marry him. They then went for a vacation in Paris, where he proposed a second time.
The couple exchanged wedding vows in August 2014 at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California. Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Jenine Howard, Juwan Howard, Johanna Gomez, Steve Stowe, and Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra were among the guests who attended the wedding.
David Fizdale has a son named Kyle Jackson from a previous relationship.