David Fizdale made two promises on May 29, 2016, the day it was announced he would be the next head coach of the Grizzlies, a culmination of a lifelong dream for the then 42-year-old. First, Fizdale promised Grizzlies owner Robert Pera that the team would continue the "Grit and Grind" tradition that Memphis had become known for. Second, he promised himself that, when necessary, he would be outspoken for causes of injustice. "I knew as an assistant coach it wasn't my place to overstep the head coach," Fizdale said. "I always wanted to make sure I respected my role. But as a head coach in this league at this time, I have a different responsibility, and I take it seriously." Fizdale came into the league in 2003 after spending five seasons in the college ranks as an assistant. Before that, he was in the Heat video department in 1997, where he met Erik Spoelstra. "Fiz is a special guy," Spoelstra, now in his 10th season as Heat head coach, said. "He came up the old school way. Learned from some greats and made progress everywhere he's been." Fizdale won three rings as an assistant in Miami. From his first season on the Heat sidelines in 2008-09, Miami won more playoff games (70) and playoff series (15) than any team in the NBA and compiled the league’s second-best regular season (.623) and fourth-best postseason (.619) winning percentages. "He knows how to work with players and make them better," former Heat and current Cavs guard Dwayne Wade said. "That's why Memphis will always be in the mix as long as he's there."