According to the Commercial Appeal's Grizzlies blog Twitter feed (now that's a mouthful), the Grizzlies have hired ESPN analyst John Hollinger to a front office position. The Memphis Flyer's Chris Herrington also tweeted that Hollinger was in Memphis weeks ago for a meeting with new Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien, but that he wouldn't say what the meeting was about.
Hollinger developed the Player Efficiency Rating (PER) stat, which attempts to take all of a player's contributions to a game and boil them down to a single number. In an ESPN piece announcing his departure, Hollinger said this:
"It's incredibly difficult to leave ESPN, but the chance to work for an NBA team and the Grizzlies' new ownership was an irresistible opportunity."
It's not clear how much influence Hollinger will have over personnel decisions, but clearly the new ownership group is taking advanced statistics very seriously, and that can only be a good thing. And, like Fearless Leader Tom Lorenzo said on Twitter a second ago, surely Hollinger won't let them sign Mike Bibby, right?
We'll be following this story pretty closely, and if anything else breaks, we'll keep you updated.