Memphis Grizzlies fire coach Marc Iavaroni
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Memphis Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace today announced that the team has relieved Marc Iavaroni of his head coaching duties. Iavaroni will be replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Johnny Davis, beginning with tonight’s game at 6:30 p.m. CST vs. the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
“We wish Marc all the best in his future endeavors,” Wallace said. “He gave his all to the organization while serving as head coach and represented the Grizzlies with class and a high level of professionalism.”
Iavaroni was named the ninth head coach in team history on May 31, 2007 and compiled a 33-90 record (.268) in one-plus seasons with Memphis. Currently, Memphis stands at 11-30 (.268) in the 2008-09 campaign and has dropped 15 of its last 17 games, including the last seven-straight decisions.
Before helming the Grizzlies, Iavaroni previously served as an assistant coach for 10 years with the Phoenix Suns (2002-07), Miami Heat (1999-02) and Cleveland Cavaliers (1997-99). The first-time head coach was also a seven-year NBA veteran from 1982-89 with the San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers, where he was a starter as a rookie on the 76ers’ 1983 World Championship team.
With over 30 years of NBA experience, Davis has served as a head coach in the league twice before, guiding the Philadelphia 76ers to a 22-60 record (.268) in 1996-97 and leading the Orlando Magic to a 51-84 mark (.378) over parts of the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. Davis, currently in his second year with the Grizzlies, owns a career coaching record of 73-144 (.336) and will become the franchise’s 10th head coach in club history.
In addition to his head coaching stints, Davis has been an NBA assistant coach for 15 years, serving with the Indiana Pacers, Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, New Jersey Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Originally drafted in the second round (22nd overall) by Portland in the 1976 NBA Draft, Davis averaged 12.9 points and 4.5 assists in 750 games over a 10-year career and, as a rookie, was an integral part of the Trail Blazers’ 1977 World Championship team.
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