In the NBA, elite players have the power, not coaches. This isn’t college ball where the coach is the face of the program and the guy with the hammer (read: ability to pull scholarships), or even Europe where the coaches wield that same CEO power. There are far fewer elite players in the NBA than quality coaches, and elite players are harder to get on the roster, so simple supply and demand gives the players power.

Those players can get a coach fired.

Marc Gasol did not push to do that with David Fizdale in Memphis, even though Fizdale was fired on Monday after benching in the fourth quarter on Sunday, and Gasol made frustrated comments after the game. From Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Let’s not confuse that with Gasol and Fizdale getting along, something that had been rumored around the league for a while. Gasol has had strained relationships with most of his NBA coaches.