Vertical Pod with Woj: David Fizdale

The Vertical
Yahoo Sports US

Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale joins The Vertical Podcast with Woj to dicuss growing up in South Central Los Angeles, fighting stereotypes often assigned to young African-American assistant coaches, and his partnership with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra in coaching the Big Three to two NBA titles.

Fizdale also talks about his impressive 18-9 start with Memphis, how his Heat pedigree under Spoelstra and Pat Riley prepared him for the opportunity with the Grizzlies, and his strong feelings about the gun issue in America.

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3:33: The importance of building relationships with young players.

4:45: Taking over a team with an established identity while implementing his own style.

6:40: Succeeding during Mike Conley’s absence.

8:03: What Fizdale learned while being a video intern for the Heat alongside Spoelstra.

11:08: How the Heat coaches established a relationship with LeBron James and Riley’s support of them.

17:44: How Fizdale was viewed as an assistant league-wide.

21:50: The perception and stereotypes African-American assistant coaches face.

27:52: How growing up in South Central Los Angeles shaped his view on relationships.

33:27: The volatility of growing up in South Central.

36:22: Seeing the Rodney King riots firsthand.

39:30: How drugs changed the relationship between police and African-Americans.

45:13: The need for common-sense gun laws, including background checks.

48:11: The NBA empowering players and coaches to make political stands.

51:20: Visiting the White House with the Heat during President Barack Obama’s tenure.

Click here to download the podcast on iTunes, or listen here or on Yahoo Sports.

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