In a much-anticipated return to the “We Don’t” Bluff City, new majority owner Robert Pera took time to meet with the coaching staff and the players, and then held a press conference to answer questions from the media.
You can listen to the press conference in its entirety on Sports 56′s website.
Some of the highlights were that Pera is happy with the team’s makeup post-trade and truly feels that they are a more competitive and balanced team now. He does remark on the difficulty that the timing of the trades presented in terms of affecting team chemistry, but that since the sale was approved after the season had already begun, they didn’t have the option of making moves in the offseason. Personally, I found that statement telling, in that it suggests that they already had an idea of reshaping the team from the outset, so it was just a matter of finding the best offer for the pieces they were willing to relinquish, namely Rudy Gay.
Pera also talked at length with his desire to find out exactly what the fans are interested in thinking and talking about, going so far as to engage them on the Grizzlies’ fan boards, although no one actually believed it was him. He definitely seems to want to have his pulse on the community and become a bigger part of it, as far as his limited time allows him to do so.
He also touches on things like the uncertain future of Lionel Hollins, the rumors of a Zach Randolph trade, and the now-infamous dinner with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol while the team was in San Francisco to play the Golden State Warriors. Jason Levien chimes in with some perspective and answer as well.
I recommend that you give it a listen and judge for yourself what the new front office is all about. I like what I’m hearing from them, but I’m more of a big picture guy, so I don’t expect everyone to agree with me in my assessment. The entire audio runs about 20 minutes. If you don’t have that much time, I’m sure some of the local media guys have transcribed it so that you can check it out that way.