3SOB has just received the press release…it’s official. Jason Levien (former part owner of the 76′ers) has been named Chief Executive Officer of Memphis Basketball LLC.
Well, so what, one might ask. Here’s what…
This WILL mean that there will be someone above Chris Wallace on the organizational ladder. From the press release:
“Jason and I share a vision for building a world-class team on and off-the-court,” Grizzlies Chairman Robert Pera said. “He has my complete trust, confidence and support in how best to lead our organization’s efforts.”
He’ll be the final and deciding vote on basketball and non-basketball decisions (except Pera’s, one would assume). He’s general partner in the DC United MLS team, was part owner of the 76ers, and worked for the Kings (ooof), so it’s not as if a total newbie is coming in with some grandiose ego-driven vision about wanting to own an NBA team (wait, didn’t that happen to us a few years ago?). Levien has worked as a high-level agent and as an executive, and having been on both sides of what can be a VERY tall and tightly woven fence will give him an excellent perspective on how to get things done.
This WILL mean that finally, finally Heisley will not be involved in the draft process. Every single Grizzlies fan owes Heisley a tremendous debt of gratitude for bringing Memphis an NBA team and being willing to pay lux tax for those false-hope years, and for telling Larry Ellison to go jump in the Bay…and also for giving a darn about the team….but Thabeet. Who was it who was drafted third in 2009? Oh, yeah, just remembered….and it WASN’T TYREKE.
Now, what this MIGHT mean…
…we might be saying goodbye to Chris Wallace sooner than many might wish. MIGHT, MIGHT NOT. There has been not one bit of official news in this regard, to be clear-but redundancy on an NBA staff usually does not happen for long. There have been, and are, however, many situations on many teams where there is more than one GM-level voice in the executive office. Opinion? Sure, we all miss Dante, and it’s a bit more objective that maybe helping off Harden in that playoff game should not have signed GV’s ticket out of town…but Wallace is super engaged in this team and this community and deserves a chance to see how far this core he has built can go. Won’t turn in my fan card if he’s given the boot, but I’ll not like it.
Better, perhaps, to go ahead and start making the intended major changes right out of the gate than to wait and see.
Pera has done SO MUCH right. Don’t see much use in viewing this as anything but