Associate GM leaves Jazz for Suns coaching job

David Fizdale spent one season in the Jazz front office before making his return to coaching.

New York Knicks coach David Fizdale reacts during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Utah Jazz associate general manager David Fizdale is leaving the organization to become an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns under new head coach Frank Vogel.

Fizdale’s move from coaching to the front office came as a surprise to many NBA observers. In the end, he’d spend just one season with the Jazz.

Fizdale has a long track record on the sidelines, including two stints as a head coach with the Memphis Grizzlies (a 50-51 record) and New York Knicks. From 2008 to 2016, he garnered acclaim as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, helping that team win two titles in 2012 and 2013.

Most recently, though, he was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2021-22 season, under Vogel. In breaking the news, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Suns made a “significant financial play for Fizdale” in order to bring him to Phoenix. There, he’ll be Vogel’s No. 2 assistant — former Utah Flash head coach Kevin Young was recently given a reported $2 million contract to remain as the franchise’s lead assistant.

The Jazz, meanwhile, have their own coaching changes to consider. Lead assistant Alex Jensen and assistant Irv Roland will not be returning to the team in 2023-24. Last year’s Salt Lake City Stars coach Scott Morrison will move up to the Jazz’s assistant ranks next year; Morrison was replaced by ex-Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski.

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