Memphis players pay for coach David Fizdale's $30,000 fine, after his legendary 'data' rant

David Fizdale rises up. (Getty Images)
David Fizdale rises up. (Getty Images)

When someone returns your wallet, you give ‘em $20 and/or invite them out for a sandwich. If someone drives you to the airport, you return the favor with that truck of yours when they need to move a couch. If someone defends the honor of your better half when you’re not around, then you need to buy that hero a beer.

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When your coach goes to bat for you as memorably as David Fizdale did for the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night after the team’s Game 2 loss, you not only offer the man a laurel and hearty handshake, you pay for whatever penalty inevitably comes down the pike from the NBA. On Wednesday, the fine hit:

The Grizzlies players, by then, had already made the fine’s impact a thing of the past.

“We told him right away,” Conley told the media on Wednesday, “you’re not gonna have to pay that.”

Between this and Mike Conley buying scores of tickets for local Grizzlies fans to attend Game 3, it’s fair to say that the Grizzlies point guard has put good use to his new contract.

Fizdale’s postgame news conference was an all-timer. After decades of being beaten over the head with replays of coaches gone mad, this cogent, impactful display of rantorialship was well-received by just about everyone save for the league’s head office:

The Grizzlies, as they often do, worked up the absolute correct response: turning his “TAKE THAT FOR DATA” kiss-off into a T-shirt that your irony-addled nephew will have to explain away someday after he steals it from your drawer (while looking for things that will get him suspended from school) in 2027:

(Courtesy Memphis Grizzlies)
(Courtesy Memphis Grizzlies)

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Fizdale is a rookie coach, but he came to the Memphis Grizzlies highly regarded. Thought as perhaps the best young head coaching candidate stuck working in the assistant’s ranks before 2016-17, the Miami Heat product has plenty of background in dealing with intense, postseason scrutiny.

If not the playoff podium. For David Fizdale’s second time out of the gate in Game 2’s wake, he certainly gave us an image worth remembering. Now it’s on his coaching, and his fine-absorbing Grizzlies, to make that rant the second-most famous thing about coach Fizdale.

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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