Despite completing another strong season, the Memphis Grizzlies may have a new coach and front office. A clash between owner Robert Pera and management has already caused team CEO Jason Levien to resign, according to a team release.
Release: "The decision was made for Jason Levien and Stu Lash to depart the organization."— Geoff Calkins (@geoff_calkins) May 19, 2014
Senior front office executive John Hollinger and coach Dave Joerger may also be involved.
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
It's unclear why Lash was let go and why Levien, Hollinger and Joerger were so disappointed with his departure.
Trouble in Memphis
The Grizzlies' brain trust led Memphis to a 50-win season and a near-upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs, despite a brutal start caused in large part by Marc Gasol's injury. Joerger recovered from that slow start to earn accolades in his first year as head coach, and Levien and Hollinger built a supporting cast from spare parts like Mike Miller, Courtney Lee, Kosta Koufos, James Johnson and Nick Calathes. Nevertheless, the Grizzlies did win six fewer games than last season and failed to return to the conference finals.
The news certainly took Tony Allen by surprise.
Wow— Tony Allen (@aa000G9) May 19, 2014
This is the third potential crisis the new Grizzlies management has faced in less than two years on the job. They were heavily criticized for trading Rudy Gay in January of 2013 and drew similar ire for letting coach Lionel Hollins go despite the team's Western Conference Finals trip.