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Grizzlies fire Mike Fratello

 


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| Dec. 28, 2006

Grizzlies fire mike fratelloMemphis Grizzlies President of Basketball Operations Jerry West announced today that Mike Fratello has been relieved of his head coaching duties.

Fratello led Memphis to a 95-83 record after he was hired on December 2, 2004 as the Grizzlies’ seventh head coach in team history. He led the Grizzlies to two postseason appearances, and became the franchise’s all-time winningest head coach in April. This season, Fratello led the Grizzlies to a 6-24 record.

“I’d like to thank Mike for the contributions he made to the Grizzlies organization,” said West. “He is a great coach and friend, and he did an outstanding job guiding this team to two playoff appearances in Memphis. We just felt it was time to make a change and move in a different direction based on our record and future goals. We wish Mike the best in his future endeavors.”

“I would like to thank Michael Heisley and Jerry West for the opportunity to come to Memphis and be a part of the Grizzlies organization,” said Fratello. “I came here a little more than two years ago, and in my first season inherited a 5-11 team that we turned around to win 45 games and advance to the playoffs. We built on that record the following year to win 49 games and return to the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Unfortunately, this season has been one of disarray starting this past summer. I am sorry I have not been able to find a way up to this point to turn things around, and I understand why a change needs to be made. Things will get better with both an abundance of home games coming up and the eventual return of Lawrence Roberts and Kyle Lowry from their injuries.”

“I would like to thank the many wonderful people I have met while in Memphis, both in basketball and around the community,” continued Fratello. “I’d like to thank my staff and players for their hard work over the last two seasons. I wish them nothing but the best.”

Fratello came to the Grizzlies as one of the NBA’s most successful coaches in history, ranking 19th on the all-time wins list and 21st on the all-time games coached list when he joined the team. A 16-year coaching veteran, his teams have qualified for the NBA playoffs in 11 of his 16 seasons as a head coach. He earned his 600th career win as a head coach on March 4, 2005, only the 19th coach all-time to reach the 600-win plateau.

Afternoon Update:

Memphis Grizzlies President of Basketball Operations Jerry West announced today that Tony Barone Sr. will take over as interim head coach for the Memphis Grizzlies.

This will be Barone’s first head coaching stint, serving the past seven seasons as director of player personnel with the Grizzlies. He also spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Grizzlies under former head coach Hubie Brown (2002-2004). Barone takes over a Grizzlies team with a 6-24 record.

“We are excited to have a person of this caliber serve as our interim head coach,” said West. “Tony is not only familiar with our veteran players, but also with our young players having been an integral part of their scouting and drafting process. We give Tony our full support and know the remainder of the season will be productive under his guidance."

Barone joined the Grizzlies after two years as a Big 12 color commentator with ESPN regional. He also served as head coach at Texas A&M from 1991-1998 where he advanced his 1994 Aggies to the NIT Tournament and was named Southwestern Conference Coach of the Year. Barone also served as head coach at Creighton University from 1985-1991, and was twice named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year.

Lionel Hollins, Paul Cormier, Mitchell Anderson and Scott Adubato will continue to serve as assistant coaches under Tony Barone, Sr. Barone replaces head coach Mike Fratello who was relieved of his head coaching duties earlier today.

The Grizzlies will host the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, December 30 at 7 p.m .at FedExForum.

Fans are discussing the news here. Read reactions and post your opinion on this news.



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