Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What's the Plan?

Adm. Painter: What's his plan?
Jack Ryan: His plan?
Adm. Painter: Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan.
From The Hunt for Red October

If only the same could be said about the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies announced today via the ‘re-energized’ owner Michael Heisley that the search for a new GM will continue for at least another week. Great news I suppose. That means Chris Wallace and his dubious history at Boston is not being given the job…yet. But it does raise a few questions as well.

Like what is the plan? Jerry West announced his intention to step down as GM on April 17th. That was over 55 days ago. How is another week going to clear up what has been so uncertain since April 17th? And why are there two new candidates emerging now instead of earlier in the process? What was the plan starting back on April 17th to replace Jerry West? Was their a plan in place anticipating that Mr. West would retire? Why did the Grizzlies leadership never interview Sam Presti, the Assistant GM at San Antonio, who signed with Seattle. Shouldn’t Presti have been interviewed early in the process as well if the team was still looking at realistic candidates?

Did Heisley assume that alleged #1 pick David Griffin would accept the position and when he withdrew his name the team no longer had any idea who they wanted?

The only logical explanation I can think of for not interviewing Presti in the beginning is that the Grizzlies felt they already had their man. After all the only person to pull his name out of consideration was David Griffin. So it appears that Grizzlies had all their eggs in one basket and did other interviews for appearances only. Now that they didn’t get their #1 choice and Presti is off the market they need to start doing serious interviews to find a legitimate candidate.

I hope that wasn’t their plan all along. Can you imagine the business meeting discussing that stragegy?

Jerry: I'm retiring.
Heisley: Well I want you to help me pick a successor and don't we need a head coach too?
Jerry: Marc Iavaroni and David Griffin are your men. I will throw together a few other names but that is who you want.
Heisley: Fine well after we hire them what do we do?
Jerry: Well let me do the draft of course. I would love to get my picture taken with Greg Oden.
Heisley: Okay so that is the plan then...

This apparent lack of a cohesive strategy has been happening all off-season for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies were regular chatty Kathy’s before the lottery with articles being posted daily about how this draft was going to change the face of the franchise. After the lottery it took 8 days for any news out of the Grizzlies leadership. It was like they weren’t even prepared with talking points for this outcome despite their being a far greater likelihood of the team getting the fourth pick than the first. Boston was equally devastated by the outcome and yet the next day Ainge and Rivers were in front of the camera’s spewing the company line about how the team was excited about the potential at the 5 spot and how this wasn’t the end of the world for the franchise.

What was the Grizzlies plan?

The Grizzlies hung their hats on Marc Iavaroni as their next coach but when the negotiations got difficult it appeared the team had no other plan of attack. If Iavaroni didn’t take the job what was the plan? Larry Brown was brought in a dismissed as a candidate soon afterwards. No one knows for sure if Donovan was actually offered a contract or not (and I don't believe that he was). Beyond those two names no one knows what the leadership of the Grizz had planned. Let’s see, the team doesn’t appear to have a plan on who they want as GM since Griffin resigned with Phoenix. The Grizzlies don’t seem to have a plan on what to do if they didn’t get a top 2 pick in the lottery. Luckily we will never know what the Grizzlies were going to do if Marc Iavaroni hadn’t accepted the Grizzlies offer.

Does this team have a plan for the future at all or are they going to continue to wing it until the draft?

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