What? You thought this was going to be a relatively quiet off-season? This is Memphis!
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien and Assistant GM Stu Lash are out in Memphis.
Here are Stein’s tweets:
Hearing major shakeup forthcoming in Memphis: Team CEO Jason Levien is poised to resign from club after assistant GM Stu Lash was dismissed
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 19, 2014
Future of MEM coach Dave Joerger & executive VP John Hollinger uncertain after clash between Grizz owner Robert Pera and current management — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 19, 2014
As you can see, it is unclear how far reaching these changes will be, and whether Coach Joerger and/or John Hollinger will remain in Memphis. The report is particularly shocking because the Grizzlies front office has presented a united front since taking over in 2012. The team is poised to have a very important off-season, the success of which largely hinges upon the team’s ability to get a deal done with All-Star Forward Zach Randolph.
Jason Levien has served as Chief Executive Officer for the franchise since Robert Pera purchased the team in 2012, overseeing operations on both the basketball and business side. As we work to get more details about exactly what has transpired, consider this interesting snag: Jason Levien owns a significant minority share of the Memphis Grizzlies and stepping down as CEO may not necessarily mean the end of Levien’s tenure in Memphis.
Stu Lash was Director of Player Personnel and Basketball Development for the Grizzlies serving as Assistant GM. You can find our profile of Lash from last summer here and here. As people love to footnote, both Levien and Lash are former NBA agents.
As was pointed out by Chris Vernon on 92.9 ESPN Memphis this afternoon, there may have been some tension in the front office related to Dave Mincberg, an attorney who represented the ownership group when the team was purchased from Michael Heisley. The Commercial Appeal’s Ron Tillery touched briefly on this in a December article, you can read here. For those who don’t feel like clicking a link, Tillery suggests that Mincberg has ambition of being the Grizzlies’ GM, a role most people expected Stu Lash to assume after Chris Wallace’s contract ends this summer.
I think Tony Allen said it best:
— Tony Allen (@aa000G9) May 19, 2014
Stay tuned to 3SOB.com as we will update this story as more information is learned.