Jason Levien Rewind: What did the Grizzlies' ownership not want to do in Memphis?

USA TODAY Sports

Let's harken back to the first press conference with Jason Levien and Robert Pera after the sale of the team in 2012.

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.


Western Standings

GP W-L PCT
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
Houston Rockets 25 16-9 .640
Phoenix Suns 23 14-9 .609
Denver Nuggets 23 14-9 .609
Dallas Mavericks 24 14-10 .583
Golden State Warriors 25 13-12 .520
Minnesota Timberwolves 24 12-12 .500
New Orleans Pelicans 22 11-11 .500
Los Angeles Lakers 23 11-12 .478
Memphis Grizzlies 23 10-13 .435
Sacramento Kings 22 7-15 .318
Utah Jazz 26 6-20 .231

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.

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