Monday, June 21, 2010

Chris Wallace's Resume Leaked!

Griz Owner Michael Heisley resigned General Manager Chris Wallace, and it's no wonder why. Says Heisley, "I feel he's done a decent job." And if wasn't enough, Wallace recently reworked his resume to highlight some of his achievements.

An anonymous source close to the organization sent us Wallace's resume, pasted below, with Wallace's contact information removed. As you can see, Wallace's list of accomplishments is a clear indication that he's the best candidate for the job.

Germantown, TN


Memphis Grizzlies
General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations (2007 - Present)
  • Team record Regular Season: 86-160 (.350) / Playoffs: 0-0 (.000)
  • Average Attendance: 13,000 (cap. 18,119)
  • Traded Pau Gasol (2x NBA Champion, 3x NBA All-Star, 2x All-NBA 3rd Team, Rookie of the Year, FIBA World Championship MVP) for Marc Gasol (NBA All-Rookie 2nd Team) and Cash Considerations.
  • Optimized the Draft process by cutting Scouting Department by 100% and reducing the number of top prospects with in-person workouts
  • Drafted Hasheem Thabeet, Kevin Love (traded), Mike Conley, Donte Green (traded), DeMarre Carroll, Sam Young
  • Traded for OJ Mayo (All-Rookie 1st Team), Zach Randolph (1 Time NBA All-Star), Ronnie Brewer, Marko Jaric, Greg Buckner, Antoine Walker, Darrell Arthur, Chris Mihm, Adonal Foyle, Mike Wilks, 3 suitcases of cash, and a conditional 2nd Round Draft Pick
  • Signed Free Agents Darius Miles, Allen Iverson, Jamaal Tinsley, Darko Milicic, Hamed Haddadi
Boston Celtics
General Manager (2000 - 2007)
  • Team record Regular Season: 267-307 (.465) / Playoffs: 16-21 (.432)
  • Average Attendance: 16,382 (cap. 18,624)
  • Drafted Joe Johnson (Traded), Al Jefferson, Delonte West, Tony Allen, Darius Songalia, Randy Foye, Dahntay Jones (Traded), Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Kendrick Brown, Troy Bell (Traded)
  • Traded for Vin Baker, Rodney Rogers, Tony Delk
  • Named to Sports Illustrated's list of Most Influential Members of the College Basketball Media, 1991

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This will help me feel better

Friday, June 11, 2010

Why I Cheer Against Pau Gasol

This is the the time of year when it's most difficult to be a Grizzlies fan. It's been over 2 months since the Grizzlies won a game. There's no longer hope that the Grizzlies will miraculously win the Draft Lottery. (Or win the second pick and blow it on a sure fire bust.) And Jeff Van Gundy is reminding the world 3 times weekly why Pau Gasol is the most skilled player in the game.

Call me negative, but every time the elder Gasol excels, my hopes that the Lakers lose grow a little bit.

People often ask me: What's my problem? How does it feel to have so much hate? Isn't it time to move on? By all accounts, Gasol is a nice guy. He's one of the top offensive big men in the NBA. He has a high basketball IQ, a strong work ethic, and is devoted to his teammates. What's there not to like?

Allow me to explain.

1. He plays for the Lakers. Hatred of the Lakers is independent of Gasol - the Lakers are the Yankees of the NBA . They're perennial front runners, who inherently have advantages over most other NBA teams (appealing destination, large TV revenue). That doesn't discount the hard work of the Lakers' players, coaches and front office. You can't be good without hard work, skill, and luck. (Just ask New York.) But it's easy to cheer against frontrunners, especially when they have advantages over their competition.

There are other teams that could be considered front runners. (Boston is one of them, and Cleveland is not.) But none is as much of a front runner as the Lakers, and Pau is a casualty of this.

If Pau played for Cleveland, Miami, Houston, or Denver, it would be more difficult to cheer against him.

Aside: It's worth noting the more subjectively unappealing aspects of the Lakers. The glitter, the Hollywood scene, the bandwagon fans, the perceived effort to ability ratio (except Kobe). Doesn't it seem like the Lakers lose because they didn't try hard enough whereas other teams lose because they're not talented enough?

Of course there's someone parading the streets of LA as a Pau Gasol lookalike.

2. The better Gasol looks, the worse the Grizzlies look.

It's not easy to make the Grizzlies look worse than they already do. We might be approaching a threshold. Until then, Gasol's success keeps pushing the boundary.

Trading a borderline All Star who can't guard Leon Powe during his prime for Kwame Brown is a lot better than trading the second best player for an NBA Champion during his prime. With every additional championship, All Star game, and statistically successful season, Gasol undermines the Grizzlies' credibility a little more.

You don't want to be known for trading a Hall of Famer during his prime. People will start to question your judgement.

3. He's Pau Gasol.

As previously stated, Gasol seems like a good guy, and he's the most offensively dynamic big man in the NBA. There's a lot to like.

But his game is finesse, and he makes those horrid faces. For a 7 footer, his rebounding and help defense are weak, and for such a dynamic scorer, his 4th quarter presence is not great. It just so happens these skills are typically associated with effort. In an unfortunate twist of fate, the Lakers also have the perfect remedies for this: Andrew Bynum (rebounding, help defense) and Kobe (4th quarter).

And that's why it was so difficult to build a successful team around him in Memphis. It's not easy to find a center like Andrew Bynum that fits well next to Gasol. Especially when you draft Drew Gooden and trade for Brian Cardinal. The team needed top notch perimeter defenders (James Posey & Shane Battier) to compensate for poor interior defense, which meant the team couldn't sacrifice perimeter defense for scoring (Rudy Gay). Also, unlike the Lakers management, the Grizzlies management wasn't good or lucky. The funny part was that the Grizzlies management was the Lakers management. Or maybe that wasn't funny.

When you type "pau gasol look" into Google, 2 search queries that come up are: "pau gasol looks like a llama" and "pau gasol looks like an ostrich". I'm just sayin.

4. Then there was Spain. Not the country. But the Basketball team.

Gasol seemingly gave more effort for the Spanish National Team than he did for the Grizzlies. (I believe this was perception and not reality, but it still impacts likability.) Even worse there was the time Gasol broke his foot, contributing to the Grizzlies' transition from playoff team back to lottery regular. Breaking his foot didn't actually contribute to Pau's likability, but privately asking for a trade shortly after his return did.

Pau's success with Spain (and LA) was probably more circumstance than effort or desire, and his request for a trade was a minor blunder in a 6.5 season stretch in Memphis. But the fact remains that the max contract, franchise player demanded a trade after giving 110% to another team. Now, he's in LA, and he reportedly won't be playing for Spain in the summer.

So I hope Marc Gasol will forgive me if I'm not cheering for the Lakers in the Finals. They're an unlikable team, and their success, along with Pau's, makes the Grizzlies look bad.

Beat LA.

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Grizzlies' Strategy is Still the Wrong Strategy

In a recent chat with Chris Vernon, Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace explained which deficiencies the team is looking to improve during the offseason:

Wallace said: "We need to strengthen the pitching rotation we have at the point guard position because you need more than one player [at point guard]. Other needs in no particular order are more outside shooting, ... more overall athleticism, ... size, length, and athleticism at the perimeter, ... and a veteran presence."

This isn't the first time that Wallace or Heisley has suggested that the Grizzlies are looking for role players to add to the core starters from last year, and it's still the wrong approach to improving the team.

This is the type of strategy that produces 0 playoff victories in 15 seasons. The Grizzlies don't need a backup point guard and a three point shooter. They need a top 15 player. They need someone with the potential to make an All-NBA team, not someone who can help them win one or two games.

Last year's squad didn't win half the games it played and didn't even make the playoffs. The team was better than previous teams which sparred for the league's worst record, but these players aren't going to spontaneously improve to top 5 in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies earned the 10th seed in part because of their own health and other teams' injuries. (#11 New Orleans and #12 the LA Clippers both had injuries to their stars / potential stars that derailed their seasons.) They may digress if not as healthy next season.

As Jamie Vann Struth explains at, the Grizzlies' stats suggest they weren't as good as their record indicated. Their performance was equal to that of a 37 win team, not a 40 win team, so they weren't as close to making the playoffs as it may seem.

Lionel Hollins wants to reap the benefit of developing the young players, and it's true that is has been painful to watch Gasol dominate in the playoffs. It's also true that the Grizzlies are young, but 3 of their 4 best players, Randolph, Gasol, and Gay, are old enough that there is little chance of each developing into more than a borderline All Star. Mayo is young enough that there's an outside chance he could make strides, but I'm not mortgaging the house on the chance that he'll be the best or second best player on an NBA Champion.

Don't get me wrong. I like all four of the Grizzlies' top four, and I'd be happy to have any of them on the team. But the idea that this team is going to take the Grizzlies to relevance is wrong.

The Grizzlies need to be looking for opportunities to acquire a perennial All Star, not a backup point guard.