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O'NeillChris Wallace just announced that Kevin O’Neill, the defensive specialist the team hired this summer, will no longer be on the bench beginning with the game tonight.

This waspreviously reported over here last week but it was officially announced today by Chris Wallace.

So what is Kevin O’Neill doing? He’s going to be the special assistant to Chris Wallace. I know you’re next question. What the heck is a Special Assistant to the GM?

According to Chris Wallace the job is a lot more than just a title. To paraphrase Chris: Kevin O’Neill is under contract until this summer already.Last year he was very valueable in the draft process and has a wealth of contacts both inthe pros, college and high school circuits. He recruited and scouted the players that will be in this draft from high school to college. He brings a wealth of information to this process and the Grizzlies organization didn’t want to waste that.

So basically Chris Wallace, who knows something about the draft process himself, is not going to waste a valueable asset like O’Neill simply because the new coach doesn’t feel he isa good fit with his personality. No one is questioning O’Neill’s expertise but coaching a turnaround situation such as this is difficult. Hollins needs to have the ability to pick his staff and for whatever reason Kevin O’Neill is not a going to be a part of Hollins’ staff.

In the immediate future O’Neill will be returning to his home in New York and will immediately begin reviewing tapes of players and scouting for the upcoming draft.

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