LeBron James and Dwyane Wade play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they were taken aback by the Memphis Grizzlies' decision to fire head coach David Fizdale on Monday—news first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com.
The Cavaliers stars weighed in on the move on Twitter:
James also retweeted this from Michael Lee of The Vertical:
Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee
David Fizdale firing was so stunning I had to check, double-check & triple-check Woj's Twitter account to make sure it was legit. I then made sure it was a legit blue check, went over to Woj's Twitter page & scrolled down again because I didn't want to be duped by a fake account
While Memphis is just 7-12 this season, the firing was a surprise considering the Grizzlies hired Fizdale to be their head coach in May 2016. What's more, Fizdale led the Grizzlies to the playoffs in his first season with a 43-39 record, and they pushed the San Antonio Spurs in a competitive six-game series in the first round.
Fizdale had also been fighting an uphill battle with point guard Mike Conley out since Nov. 13 with an Achilles injury and longtime Grizzlies Tony Allen and Zach Randolph no longer on the team after they signed elsewhere in free agency.
The Sacramento Kings' Vince Carter, who was with the Grizzlies for the previous three seasons, couldn't believe the news about Fizdale:
Carter wasn't the only player around the NBA to comment on the firing:
In a news release, the Grizzlies stated associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff will serve as interim head coach.
"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," general manager Chris Wallace said. "Coach Fizdale represented the Grizzlies and City of Memphis proudly, and we wish him well as he continues his career."
That James and Wade in particular tweeted about the firing was notable because Fizdale was an assistant coach for the Miami Heat before the Grizzlies hired him. He helped the franchise win two championships in four NBA Finals appearances with James, Wade and Chris Bosh leading the way.