The Memphis Grizzlies have fired coach David Fizdale one day after losing eight straight games.
After jumping out to a 5-1 start this season, the Grizzlies have lost 11 of their last 13 games, including Sunday's reverse to the Brooklyn Nets.
Fizdale was criticised for benching center Marc Gasol for the final 15:05, including the entire fourth quarter in that loss and will be replaced by associate head coach JB Bickerstaff in the interim.
"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," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. "Coach Fizdale represented the Grizzlies and City of Memphis proudly, and we wish him well as he continues his career."
After leading the Grizzlies to the playoffs last season, Fizdale will end his coaching term with Memphis with a 50-51 record.
Fizdale was an assistant at the Miami Heat during LeBron James and Dwyane Wade's time in South Beach. Both players posted on Twitter to express their shock at the decision, James suggesting that Fizdale was the "fall guy".
I need some answers. Feels like my man was a fall guy-- LeBron James (@KingJames) November 27, 2017
I need answers!!! WTF https://t.co/z39oNRQok0-- DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 27, 2017