Congrats, David Fizdale. You just had your Jim Mora moment in your very first season as a head coach.
The longtime Heat assistant, who took over the Grizzlies’ top job before this season, went shock and awe on the officiating after Memphis’ 96-84 playoff loss to the San Antonio Spurs Monday night.
Fizdale was irate because of the lopsided number of free throws awarded by the officials. The Grizzlies had just 15. Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard took 19 himself.
The loss put the Grizzlies down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. Teams in such a hole come back to win just 6 percent of the time, so Fizdale knew he had to do something drastic.
He did, excoriating the refs in an epic rant before signing off with “Take that for data!” — perhaps a nod to the analytics obsessed — and slamming the podium on his way out the door.
Watch his rant here. It’s a treat.
But will it go down as an all-time great?
Will people be talking about it years from now like they still do about Mora’s “Playoffs?!?!” diatribe?
Or when Temple coach John Chaney nearly fought John Calipari, then with UMass, and threatened to kill him?
Remember when David Bennett put Coastal Carolina on the map by saying he wanted his team to play more like dogs than cats?
Who could forget about Mike Gundy went all “I’m a man! I’m 40!”?
Of course, Herm Edwards probably set up his post-coaching broadcasting career with one unforgettable line: “You play to win the game.”
And no list would be complete without Allen Iverson reminding the assembled sporting press that they’re “talking about practice. Not a game. But practice!”
In closing, well done, Fiz. But you still have to work to do to reach immortality.