After spending nearly 20 years working as an assistant coach for various college and NBA teams, David Fizdale became one of the most admired coaches in the NBA. The Los Angeles native became a head coach for the first time in 2016 with the Memphis Grizzlies and would move on to serve the New York Knicks in the same capacity. Fizdale’s accomplishments belie his humble beginning. He was mostly raised by his single mom and his grandpa, who was a sanitation worker.
Born on the 16th of June 1974 in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in South Central L.A. and attended John C. Fremont High School. While in high school, he grew into an excellent point guard and it marked the beginning of the profession he would come to build as a basketball coach.
David Fizdale’s Coaching Career Began in 1998 as an Assistant Coach with the San Diego Toreros
On leaving college, Fizdale settled for a job as a video game intern for the Miami Heat of the NBA. The internship lasted a year (1997) and in 1998, he joined his alma mater as an assistant coach.
Becoming an assistant coach for San Diego Toreros, the men’s basketball team of the University of San Diego, was the first significant step in his career journey, one that can be traced back to his high school days.
David was a student of John C. Fremont and in his three seasons with The Pathfinders, the team lost only seven games. He also helped the team to the City Section 3A title in 1991. He finished high school in 1992 and obtained an athletic scholarship to the University of San Diego. There, he studied communications and sociology and also continued his exploits on the basketball court with The Toreros. In his senior year alone, he averaged 7 assists per game and was named to the All-West Coast Conference team.
Fizdale spent four years with The Toreros during which he established a reputation for his people skills and basketball intelligence. All of these, and his internship with the Miami Heat, handed him enough experience that prepared him for his first coaching assignment. His time with the San Diego Toreros lasted from 1998 to 2002.
Teams He Served as an Assistant Coach in Before He Became the Head Coach of Memphis Grizzlies
In 2002, he joined Fresno State University as an assistant coach, spending a year there before moving to The Golden State Warriors as an assistant in 2003. He was with the Warriors for a year before joining the Atlanta Hawks as an assistant coach.
In his four year term with the Hawks (2004 – 2008), he did not only help the team increase their winning streak but also helped them reach the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.
In 2008, David Fizdale moved to Miami Heat. He spent eight years with them during which he won two NBA titles (2012 and 2013) as an assistant coach.
After nearly two decades of working as an assistant, Fizdale was appointed the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2016. He spent just one season with the team before he was sacked in November 2017. This was due to an issue involving one of the star players of the team. Fizdale was not unemployed for long as he was immediately snapped up by the New York Knicks who appointed him their head coach in May 2018.
New York Knicks Sacked David Fizdale in December 2010
It was in May 2018 that the coach signed a four-year contract that was meant to keep him as the head coach of the NBA team until 2020. The exact details of that contract are not available, however, it has been reported in some quarters that it was worth as much as $22 million.
After the Knicks hired Fizdale, he asserted that his priority was building a winning team, such that Knicks fans would be proud of. The appointment saw him become the 29th coach in franchise history and given his fine record with the Memphis Grizzlies before he was fired for clashing with Marc Gasol who was a star player for the team, the Knicks hoped that David would lead the team out of their five-year postseason drought. But that didn’t happen.
Against what was hoped, the Knicks suffered a devastating 4-18 start to their season. David Fizdale had to be shown the door. He was fired alongside assistant coach Keith Smart on the 6th of December 2019.
He is Yet to Land Another Coaching Job
After he was axed as the head coach of the New York Knicks, Fizdale specified that he has no ill feelings towards the team. For him, it’s all about business and he will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Knicks’ head coach.
Since he was fired, there has not been any report about any team approaching him for a coaching job. It is hard to tell what the coach has been up to, but we can confirm that he now lives in Calabasas, a city in Los Angeles County, California.
Reports have it that the coach bought a home in Calabasas, a Mediterranean-style home worth $2.25 million where he lives with his wife, Natasha Sen.
An Overview of His Career History Thus Far:
- Assistant coach for San Diego Toreros (1998 – 2002)
- Assistant coach for the Fresno State Bulldog (2002 – 2004)
- Assistant coach for Golden State Warriors (2003 – 2004)
- Assistant coach for Atlanta Hawks (2004 – 2008)
- Assistant coach for Miami Heat (2008 – 2016)
- Head coach for Memphis Grizzlies (2016 – 2017)
- Head coach for New York Knicks (2018 – 2019)
The Coach’s Wife is a Canadian of Indian Descent
David Fizdale is very much off the market as it pertains to relationships. He is married to the gorgeous Natasha Sen. His wife is 11 years younger than him as she was born on the 10th of June 1985. Furthermore, she is of Indian descent and has Canadian nationality.
She grew up in Canada and attended the Ontario College of Art and Design popularly known as OCAD University. She finished her studies in 2008 and has since worked as a creative director for some organizations but now has her own agency.
Fizdale and his wife met during his stint as an assistant coach at San Diego. They got engaged in 2013 and tied the knot a year later, in August 2014. Their Indian-style wedding ceremony took place at a luxurious hotel in San Diego. It had some high profile attendees including NBA star, Dwayne Wade, who previously played under Fizdale at Miami Heat.
Fizdale and his wife do not have any children together at the moment but are expectant parents. However, he has an adult son (named Kyle Jackson) from a previous relationship. Kyle was born in 1993.
Natasha Sen-Fizdale Is the Founder of The Creative Penny
As the owner and creative principal of The Creative Penny, Natasha is experienced in social media marketing and graphic design.
The company offers a range of services that include branding and graphic design, marketing and brand management, event management, and social media marketing.
The company has worked with various popular outfits and their expertise has earned Natasha a great deal of influence. For instance, she was a guest of honor at the KYBOE! 2016 New York Fashion Week.
What You Should Know About the Family David Hails From
If there is one thing that is very important to the renowned coach, it is family. He credits his family with encouraging and nurturing his NBA dreams which seemed like a fantasy at some point.
He was raised by his mom, Helen Hamilton, alongside two siblings – a brother and a sister. Fizdale’s father was an absentee dad and he did not play a significant role in his life. It must be noted that Fizdale’s mom is African American while his dad is Caucasian.
The father figure in Fizdale’s life was his maternal granddad, Robert Hamilton. He was a sanitation worker and church deacon and did all in his power to encourage his grandson’s ambition. Robert, unfortunately, passed away in 1994; he was a victim of a robbery that went wrong.