It was a great day that November 5th. There was a levity in the air, an optimism that couldn't be crushed. Jason Levien wooed and wordsmith'd his way into the hearts of Memphis fans, locals and businessmen. And then he uttered these words:
We came into a situation where we just hope we don't screw it up.
Well Jason, 56 wins and a Western Conference Finals appearance later, and you've managed to screw it up to some degree.
|Portland Trail Blazers||25||21-4||.840|
|San Antonio Spurs||23||19-4||.826|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||23||19-4||.826|
|Los Angeles Clippers||25||16-9||.640|
|Golden State Warriors||25||13-12||.520|
|New Orleans Pelicans||22||11-11||.500|
|Los Angeles Lakers||23||11-12||.478|
I'm in no position to say that Levien and this front office don't know what they're doing. Running an NBA franchise is a complicated business, and this situation isn't all that uncommon in professional sports - aka shit happens - all the time. Michael Jordan retires and Peyton Manning has neck surgery and Marc Gasol sprains his MCL.
But there's no denying that a lot of their plans for this season have failed, with or without the light of Marc Gasol's injury. Dave Joerger's system wasn't ready for this team, the Grizzlies offseason left them still lacking in perimeter shooting and the young talent they've invested in has been injured and/or underperforming.
Again, it happens. I won't indict the Grizzlies' ownership for swinging hard and missing. But.. umm.. you did "screw it up." At least a little bit. And more than needing an immediate solution to the Grizzlies' problems on the court, I, among many other fans, am needing an admission of guilt.
This would be a great time for some of Levien's PR skills to shine and let the fans know that the Front Office is fully aware of the disappointment of this season so far. Fans need to know that they care, they have a plan to fix things and that they're sorry they've come in and "screwed things up" (even though the Grizzlies could probably be in this situation with Rudy Gay, Mo Speights, Wayne Ellington, Tony Wroten, Hamed Haddadi, the Barones and Lionel Hollins all still in place, except that the franchise would be bankrupt from salary taxes.)
Memphians respect specific qualities of their leaders. One of those qualities is admitting when you're wrong, even if you're not really wrong.
UPDATE: Jason Levien addressed the Grizzlies struggles with Chris Vernon today. Use this thread to discuss Levien's response to the Grizzlies start to the season.
- Vote for the Greatest Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies Uniform of All Time: The Big Showdown
- Memphis Grizzlies Fall at Home Again, Beaten by Minnesota Timberwolves
- Grizzlies Quarter Season MVP: Split Decision between the Starting Guards
- Grizzlies can't counter their slow start against Minnesota, Mike Conley hurt in the 4th quarter
- Twelve Days of Grizzmas: Your favorite Vancouver/Memphis Grizzly to wear the #5