Before Jason Kidd was the new Dallas Mavericks head coach, the Los Angeles Lakers made him the highest-paid assistant in the NBA because of how badly they wanted him on Frank Vogel’s bench. His nominal replacement, the newly hired David Fizdale, will not be quite so lucky.
In fact, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, not only will Fizdale (presumably) not be making the most money of any NBA assistant coach, but he could have actually made more money had he gone to Indiana, of all places:
David Fizdale accepted Lakers assistant coach opening over more lucrative Indiana offer, @TheUndefeated learned. Former Grizzlies & Knicks coach preferred being reunited with LeBron, being home in LA and Lakers title chances. LeBron & Fiz communicated after latter agreed to deal.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) July 1, 2021
Okay, first of all, it’s cool to know that Fizdale saw this as a better opportunity, and it’s possible he views the Lakers as a better place to get some recognition for contributing to winning, and to potentially jump back into the lead chair in much the same way that Kidd did after his own previous two underwhelming head coaching stints. Take that for data.
It’s also possible that Fizdale saw how Vogel doesn’t pigeonhole his assistant coaches as simple coordinators, and has each of them contribute to everything, and viewed that as a better way to stay ready for another head coaching gig while making his voice heard in a LeBron-led situation that was familiar to him.
Furthermore, it’s admirable that Fizdale was willing to sacrifice money to help a small business like the little mom-and-pop shop Lakers. Sure, he could have gotten a more lucrative contract elsewhere, but instead decided to go home to Los Angeles rather than join the big-market juggernaut Pacers that were trying to outbid them.
But now that we know this, is anyone in this community a South Bay real estate agent? Can someone help get our guy Fiz a deal on a condo in Manhattan Beach or something? We know he’s trying to ball on a budget, so the least we can do is try to hook it up.