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.
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.
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