It is a soap opera in Memphis.
A well written soap opera, but a soap opera just the same. As someone who struggles to write acceptable prose much less eloquent, I have to admit Geoff Calkins, Ron Tillery, Chris Mannix and others are far better writers than I am.
That doesn’t mean that what they write is always correct. Consider these stories:
- The owner is certifiable insane.
- The former President of Basketball Operations is a megalomaniac, power-hungry liar who secretly wanted to be an owner but didn’t have a big enough wallet
- The coach is happy to be returning to Memphis or disappointed things couldn’t work out in Minnesota and is twisting the story to make it sound better than it is.
Most of these stories are being stoked if not actually started by local radio personalities and columnists (or both in many instances) who want to excite the fans to get them to listen to their shows or read their papers. Just this morning Geoff Calkins and Ron Tillery battled each other on the radio and twitter taking differing sides on the issue of the Grizzlies.
What is really going on here? Is it the soap opera we are being told or is it something far more reasonable?
Ask yourself what is more likely.
Is it more likely that Pera is crazy or that Levien is a bitter ex-employee?
There is a campaign going on that goes something like this. Pera is unstable. That is the one and only reason he suddenly fired Levien and Lash. If Pera isn’t unstable that means he had valid reasons for firing Levien and Lash. This can’t be the reason.
Some people may question my use of the word campaign. Consider how many articles and radio talk shows you have heard in the last two weeks talking about events that happened last summer, in the pre-season and before Christmas this past season. If there isn’t a campaign currently going on why didn’t those stories surface when they happened? Why all of a sudden are these things leaking out?
These articles openly suggest Pera is not in control of himself. They all quote inside sources but none of them actually say who the source is. This should raise a red flag for any discerning reader. Why hasn’t anyone gone on record?
Chris Mannix actually blames Pera for not re-signing Hollins. As I remember it, Levien had far more to do with the coaching change than Pera did. Funny how that is twisted around now to place the blame on Pera as if Levien didn’t have any control at all in that decision. The implication is that an insane person wouldn’t have rehired Hollins after all.
Mannix goes on to accuse Pera of trying to fire Joerger, after hiring him in June without any input from Levien apparently, as soon as the pre-season because Tony Allen wouldn’t play him one on one. Only an insane person would do that.
Mind you the date of when Pera first tried to fire Joerger has moved from December’s Golden State game to November’s game against Golden State when the Grizzlies won their 3rd straight road game to game 5 of the season and now to the pre-season. At this rate Pera will have tried to fire Joerger before he hired him!
This is important because fans have to believe Pera hated Joerger and Pera is a loose cannon to rationalize everything else including the Minnesota interview. Pera had to hate Joerger so much that he allowed him to interview with another team despite being under contract to the Grizzlies for two more seasons.
It couldn’t simply be that Joerger wanted to interview with his home state team and Pera didn’t want a coach that didn’t want to be in Memphis. That would be reasonable and frankly with the compensation that team could receive actually beneficial. There had to be something more than that or Pera wouldn’t have allowed Joerger to interview with Minnesota and only an insane person would allow Joerger to interview elsewhere.
Then we are to believe that somehow, despite all this hatred of Joerger and the strong desire to bring in a big name coach, that Pera talked Joerger into turning down the Timberwolves and return to Memphis. This proves how unstable Pera is right?
Or is it simply that Pera talked to Joerger and the two of them agreed Memphis is the right place for him even though the Minnesota job was closer to family and childhood friends?
I really find it hard to believe that stories based on information from October and earlier is only now finding its way into print and radio discourse if it was known way back then. The timing of the articles seems too suspicious to me. Why are these stories only now getting released?
Ask yourself what’s more likely?
I believe it is Occam’s razor that says “the simplest explanation is usually the right one.”
Is it simpler to believe that Robert Pera is a lunatic based on stories cropping up that he fired Hollins, hired Joerger, tried to fire Joerger numerous times, hated Joerger so much he allowed him to interview elsewhere but convinced Joerger to turn down the offer and return to Memphis or that one fired executive who is a former agent with many media contacts is spreading stories to discredit Pera and therefore improve his public image?
I can’t answer that for anyone else.
All I can say is that I believe the simpler explanation is that Levien and his friends are leaking these stories in an attempt to undermine the team. It’s straight forward and simple.
That is easier for me to believe than Pera is a walking lunatic who has been destroying the fabric of the franchise since before the season began, wanted to fire Hollins but then tried to fire Joerger before the season began, only gave Joerger 5 games before wanting him fired again, fired Levien without reason and basically is a loose cannon.
Tell me. What do you think?