It’s tough being an NBA coach. On the heels of the 42-40 season which was riddled with injuries, the Memphis Grizzlies decided to fire head coach Dave Joerger. Memphis, the seventh seed in this year’s playoffs, were eliminated by the Spurs in four games in the first round — them even staying the playoff race is remarkable as they had an NBA-record 28 players suit up for them this year.
Chris Wallace, General Manager of the Grizzlies, said, “after careful consideration, I concluded that a change was needed to foster the strong culture required to achieve sustainable, long-term success for the organization, the city and our fans.”
Wallace continued, “on behalf of the Grizzlies organization I would like to thank Dave for his work and time in Memphis. We wish Dave and his family all the best and success as he moves forward in his career.”
After being hired as head coach in 2013, Joerger amassed a 147-99 (.598) record with Memphis. His first season he captured 50 wins and then proceeded to win 55 the following year. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies never had as much success as people believed they would because they faced incredibly tough opponents in the playoffs each year.
Memphis was so good with him at the helm that experts felt they were in great position to contend for a conference title this year. And then they fell apart. Losing Marc Gasol and Mike Conley for almost the entire second half of the season sealed their playoff fate.
Now that his ties were cut, Joerger joins Frank Vogel, whose contract wasn’t renewed by Indiana, as one of the market’s best coaches and should have almost no issues finding a team within the next year or so.