David Fizdale Rumors
Former Golden State and Sacramento coach Keith Smart has emerged as a strong candidate to join the Miami Heat’s revamped assistant coaching staff, league sources told Yahoo Sports. In the wake of a shakeup that resulted in the reassignments of Bob McAdoo and Ron Rothstein, Smart, 49, and Miami are discussing a role on head coach Erik Spoelstra’s bench, sources said. David Fizdale will continue as Spoelstra’s top assistant, and ex-Heat player Juwan Howard will move up to an assistant coaching job after a season working in player development, sources said.
With the moves, David Fizdale emerges as the clear lead assistant of Spoelstra’s staff. Fizdale, who formerly had worked in the Heat’s video department, was hired by Spoelstra when he was named coach in 2008. He has turned down outside overtures in recent years to interview to become a head coach elsewhere, citing loyalty to Spoelstra.
And yet amid such speculation about outside interest, including the most recent whispers that have him linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ vacancy, David Fizdale has dug in and insists he isn’t looking to go anywhere. So once again amid a deep Miami Heat playoff run, Fizdale has found himself trying to quell an opponent and quiet rumors. “There have been no contact, no conversations, nothing like that,” Fizdale said of the coaching swirl that again has him in the vortex. “Quite honestly, Spo gets very annoyed with me, because he’s like, ‘Why don’t you care about being a head coach?’ And I’m like, ‘Cause we’re in the playoffs.’ “And I just don’t think about it. I don’t even know what jobs are open.”
Ira Winderman: Heat assistant David Fizdale says he has had no contact with Cavs, notes his only ties to Cavs were through deposed coach, friend Mike Brown
Chris Broussard: Hearing Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale is on Cleveland Cavaliers’ coaching radar. Makes all the sense in the world.
Although names of up-and-coming assistants, like Miami’s David Fizdale and Denver’s Melvin Hunt are continuously popping up as top targets, the casual demeanor with which the Sixers have approached the search leads me to believe that they may already have their man, and he may already be in the organization. Several of the organization’s key players, including their lone all-star Jrue Holiday, have already voiced their support for current assistant coach Michael Curry. As qualified coaching candidates continue to be snatched up by other teams, it is becoming increasingly clear that Curry may be the man.
Now, working his third consecutive Finals and seeking his second championship, there is a slightly different outlook, after consultations with Spoelstra, Heat President Pat Riley and Heat assistant Ron Rothstein. “I’ll listen,” he said, in his fifth season with the Heat. “If it’s the right situation, this summer, I think after a year of going through this again, learning more, really spending more time with Coach Rothstein, with Spo, with Pat, I feel a little closer to being ready for that, from the standpoint of knowledge and what to expect.”
Now, with the league in the midst of a dramatic coaching overhaul, Fizdale, 38, said he would consider the right job at the right time, even with a year left on his Heat contract. “Last year, I just didn’t feel like the timing was right, from the standpoint of we just won our first title together, the connection that we have as bothers and friends,” he said following Saturday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena, where Game 2 of this best-of-seven series against the Spurs will be played at 8 p.m. Sunday. “I signed on to really try to build something, a dynasty, a legacy out of this. And I didn’t want to back out on that commitment. Before Portland had called me, I had just a new two-year deal with the Heat. To me, it was like I signed on with that deal, no matter what happened.”
Yet even while being linked to the Philadelphia 76ers’ opening and mentioned in other coaching searches, he said the focus is singular. “I ain’t even thinking about it. Right now, if they haven’t contacted me, it’s not even a thought in my mind right now,” Fizdale said. “Because I haven’t been contacted, head-coaching job don’t even exist to me. I’m so focused on this. But, obviously, the right scenario comes up, Coach Riley and Spo have been so great, because if a scenario comes up that they really think that I should explore, they’re very honest with me in telling me, ‘Hey, you really got to look at this.’ ”
Now, with the league in the midst of a dramatic coaching overhaul, David Fizdale said he would consider the right job at the right time, even with a year left on his Heat contract. “Last year, I just didn’t feel like the timing was right, from the standpoint of we just won our first title together, the connection that we have as bothers and friends,” he said following Saturday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena, where Game 2 of this best-of-seven series against the Spurs will be played at 8 p.m. Sunday. “I signed on to really try to build something, a dynasty, a legacy out of this. And I didn’t want to back out on that commitment. Before Portland had called me, I had just a new two-year deal with the Heat. To me, it was like I signed on with that deal, no matter what happened.”
Meanwhile, another source with knowledge of the situation confirmed a report earlier Friday that Hinkie might consider Miami assistant coach David Fizdale for the vacancy. “I can only say that he seems like the type of guy that Sam would be interested in,” a source said. Fizdale also serves as the Heat’s director of player development.
Marc Stein: Some buzz here at Finals that Philly wants to talk to Fizdale when series over. @Ronald Tillery says Philly also likes Grizzlies’ Dave Joerger
“I’m two feet in here,” Fizdale said. “Spo knows it, Pat knows it. I’ll never be an assistant anywhere else, unless they fire me. And then, for head coaching opportunities, I want it to be a situation where they tell me to go, you can’t pass that up.” Eventually, they will. “We’ll lose him someday,” Wade said.
“I try to make sure that if there’s anything smoking, that I can put that out before it ever gets to Spo,” Fizdale said. “And if there’s anything smoking that Spo needs to know, I try to make sure that it’s communicated from them to him, from him to them, without fire.” That means providing context and clarity. “This is where LeBron’s coming from, Spo,” Fizdale said. “LeBron, this is where Spo was coming from. I translate for them and we keep everybody moving in the same direction. I try to be the glue as much as I can.”
In the five seasons since, David Fizdale, 38, has solidified his status as an integral member of the Heat staff, one equally valued by the head coach who calls him a close friend and the Heat stars who call upon him for suggestions and representation. As such, his value is spiking around the NBA, with the Portland Trail Blazers seeking an interview for their head coaching vacancy last summer — an opportunity he declined. As the Heat play in the second round against the Chicago Bulls, he continues to be mentioned as a possible candidate for current and potential openings, such as the one in Atlanta.
The Sixers are targeting young assistants in the initial stages of their coaching search, which is expected to take time to unfold because several candidates they’ve identified — including Michael Malone (Warriors), Brian Shaw (Pacers) and David Fizdale (Heat) — are still in the playoffs. Also, with team president Rod Thorn moving into a consulting role and GM Tony DiLeo’s contract up, the Sixers have begun doing their homework on potential GM candidates, sources said.
Shaun Powell: If Phil Jackson doesn’t want the job, Cavs should try David Fizdale, Heat assistant. LeBron likes him.
Four other assistants that could get interviews are Miami’s David Fizdale, Indiana’s Brian Shaw, Golden State’s Mike Malone and Philadelphia’s Michael Curry. Curry, who was Detroit’s head coach for one season, might be in line for the 76ers’ job vacated by the recently departed Doug Collins. Shaw was a finalist for the Cavs’ job in 2010. Grant isn’t expected to talk to any college coaches for the opening. A source said the Cavs aren’t expected to drag their feet on finding a new coach.
The Cavs also have an interest in former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and former Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles, and Mike Malone is a former assistant under Brown in Cleveland and Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale has intriguing ties to Grant. Fizdale and Grant were college teammates at the University of San Diego, he is an up-and-coming assistant on Erik Spoelstra’s staff in Miami and has close ties to LeBron James.
Joe Kotoch: Cavs front office will look at Shaw, Malone, Budenholzer, McMillan, and David Fizdale of Miami.