Grizzlies Coach Gone


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Memphis Grizzlies fired coach Mike Fratello on Thursday after a 6-24 start.

The Grizzlies' all-time winningest coach, Fratello had a 95-83 record and had guided Memphis to consecutive playoff appearances.

He started the season without All-Star center Pau Gasol, who broke his foot this summer in the world championships and missed the first 22 games.

Jerry West, Grizzlies president of basketball operations, announced the move, calling Fratello a great coach and friend.

"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," West said in a statement.

Fratello replaced Hubie Brown on Dec. 2, 2004. He took the Grizzlies to the playoffs but was swept in the first round in 2005 and 2006.

The Grizzlies did not announce a new head coach, and said they would look for an interim head coach immediately.