The soap opera, ‘As The Grizzlies Turn’, began last year with the debate on whether to keep or trade Rudy Gay. That trade led to the deterioration of the relationship between then coach Lionel Hollins and the analytics loving front office of the Memphis Grizzlies. Also, the trade spawned a classic quote from Lionel Hollins about the team, “that you can’t have a champagne taste, on a beer budget”. Ultimately, the incidents previously mentioned led to a coach who righted the Grizzlies ship and led the team to the best season in franchise history ending in the Western Conference Finals not to be retained by management.
Jump ahead a year, ‘As The Grizzlies Turn’, returned in grand fashion with the sudden firings of CEO Jason Levien and Assistant GM Stu Lash. In the midst of the firings, Chris Wallace who had been exiled into quiet existence has been brought back into the fray to be the team’s interim GM and run the team’s draft. This chain of events took place due to a fracture in the relationship between Controlling Owner Robert Pera and former CEO Jason Levien.
Caught up in the mix was Dave Joerger. According to reports, Dave Joerger was Jason Levien and crew’s guy which was why Lionel Hollins was let go so easily amongst other things. It was reported by multiple publications that Robert Pera wanted Dave Joerger out and that Dave Joerger wanted out. Pera wanted Joerger out and Joerger wanted out so much that Joerger was allowed to interview for the Minnesota Timberwolves vacant head coaching position. Reports were out that a deal was close between Joerger and Minnesota only for Joerger to decide in shocking fashion that he had decided to stay on as Grizzlies Head Coach. Pera and Joerger cite that them having multiple conversations after his interview in Minnesota as the reason that he chose to stay in Memphis. Truthfully, that’s part of the truth, it boils down to the fact that Pera had to save his butt and not look like a fool any more than he already does. Pera knew that if he lost two coaches in two years who led the team to over 50-win seasons that he would lose all credibility and respect around the league, not that he had much to begin with any way. So, in closing Joerger is staying, Wallace is back, things are quiet on the Grizzlies for now, but stay tuned in for the next exciting episode of ‘As The Grizzlies Turn’ coming at you when you least expect it!
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