MIAMI — Heat coach Erik Spoelstra worked alongside David Fizdale for eight seasons, bringing him to Miami as an assistant coach before naming him associate head coach for his final two seasons.
As you can imagine, when Fizdale was cut loose by the Knicks after just 22 games into his second season in New York, Spoelstra was not a fan of the move. Since leaving the Heat, Fizdale has not lasted two full seasons with either the Grizzlies or Knicks.
“I think it stinks,” Spoelstra said Friday night as the Heat prepared to face the Knicks and interim head coach Mike Miller. “I think he’s a phenomenal coach. Yes, he is a great friend of mine. Somebody else gave me a piece of information that he just happened to work for the two franchises that both have had more coaching changes in the last 12 years since I’ve been a coach here than anybody else in the league.
“I think that speaks for itself. They hired him to do a job. It takes time to build culture and build something, which we’ve done as well. It just takes time. It takes a great deal of stability from the people you work for, which I’m so grateful we have here. I just think it stinks.”
Back in action
Allonzo Trier was active Friday after he missed the last three games while in concussion protocol. Wayne Ellington (Achilles) and Reggie Bullock (cervical spine) remained out of action. Miller said he didn’t have a timeline for Bullock’s return, but the wing did participate in the morning shootaround after practicing fully Thursday. “[Thursday] was his first live contact,” Miller said. “We’re going to have to take it from there. I can’t really set anything definite yet. He’s doing well, practiced well.”