- David Fizdale is the new head coach of the New York Knicks.
- Fizdale was long-time assistant coach for the Miami Heat and was with the team when LeBron James was helping them win championships.
- James had Fizdale appear in a commercial with him as a wedding gift.
LeBron James may be the best basketball player in the world with a reputation for meddling in personnel decisions, but according to new New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale, he also goes out of his way to show how much he cares about teammates and coaches.
Fizdale was hired this week to be the new head coach of the Knicks. He previously became a household name in the sports world when he went on a post-game rant about the officiating while head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies in which he famously yelled, “Take that for data!”
But before that, Fizdale was an assistant coach with the Miami Heat for eight seasons, helping LeBron and company win two championships.
Fizdale was a guest on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” in 2017 and he was asked about working with James. He said James, behind closed doors, was much different than the businessman who has molded a brand for the world to see.
According to Fizdale, the James most don’t see “is personal.”
“He cares,” Fizdale said. “He really cares about the 15th guy on the bench. He cared about us as coaches.”
Fizdale then told a story about the unusual wedding gift he received from James, one that took a lot more thought and effort than picking something off a registry: a spot in a Samsung commercial.
“I don’t know how many times I came into the office and there was a gift on our desk from LeBron because he’d get so much free crap. I never got so many Christmas gifts in my life. He would do stuff like that for no reason. That was the part I will always remember about him, the things he would do for us.
“He put me in a commercial once as a wedding gift. How about that? Because I said, ‘Don’t get me anything.’ Instead of him listening, he says, ‘Hey, coach, why don’t you be in the Samsung commercial with me?’ You know, that’s a nice little check for an assistant coach. And [the card] says, ‘Hey, man, congratulations on your wedding.'”
Here’s Fizdale’s moment in the commercial:
And here’s the full commercial:
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