Grizzlies majority owner Robert Pera strikes me as a man who is all about taking care of business. I'm sure he has a jovial, playful side, but my intuition says there are probably more billionaires with a demeanor similar to that of Pera's than say that of Marc Cuban's.
This is reinforced by Pera's role in the world as an engineer. Engineers don't squabble over nuanced opinion and heresay. Engineers speak the language of mathematics with a dialect of science. In Pera's world, details are rarely "could be," "only if" or "depends on" - the details either "are" or "are not," i.e., 2 + 2 = 4 and there's no way you can dilute that fact (at least not in a normal 15 minute conversation).
It's only natural that a basketball organization assembled by such a brain would be reflected off of similar mirror of logic and reason. Jason Levien, for all his verbosity and wordsmith-ing savvy, is extremely methodical in his approach to management. John Hollinger obviously operates on statistics and numbers. Head coach Dave Joerger was handpicked because of how he embraces the approach of the previously mentioned individuals. So what about the roster?
I'll first say that Chris Wallace is a great GM, but he's definitely shown the ability to roll the dice on colorful characters. Some have worked out, Tony Allen & Zach Randolph, while others were better left on the market, Allen Iverson & Gilbert Arenas, etc. I'm not sure if the current ownership group will ever be able to take the risks that gave us TA and ZBo, but that's not necessarily a bad thing considering those guys might be the exception to the rule.
A byproduct of this sort of roster filtering is the acquisition of baggage-less players. The Grizzlies seem to want to comprise their team of solid minds that feature emotional stability on and off the court.
- Case #1 - acquisition of Jon Leuer, a player who screams mental stability. The everyday-normal guy who just balls out and works on his game.
- Case #2 - Tayshaun Prince, that's all I'm going to say there.
- Case #3 - the exit of Rudy Gay, a player whose performance was directly related to his emotional condition.
- Case #4 - signing of Keyon Dooling, a motivational-veteran guy who was brought in for his presence in the locker room.
- Case #5, #6, #7 - Mike Miller, Nick Calathes and Kosta Koufos. Again, that's all I'm saying.
- Case #6 - the trade for Courtney Lee. (which is in no way an indictment on Bayless)
Lee fits the bill to a "T." The phrase "effort takes no talent" says it all, and if that weren't enough there's this quote from Lee before he ever entered the NBA, regarding what he could offer an NBA franchise:
Off the court I believe I have good character, I carry myself well and I don't have any baggage.
Having levelheaded players isn't the end-all-be-all of roster building, but it allows the Grizzlies front office to avoid a lot of headaches and use their energy to find little gems like James Johnson. It should also allow for players to come in a be effective as early as possible, which is hopefully the case with our man Courtney Lee here tonight.
The Grindmaster from last edition (at Pistons) was Jon Leuer.
- Game Score and Winner (correct predictions receive 3 points, if no correct predictions, 1 point awarded to member(s) with closest differential)
- The Grindmaster (3 points awarded to correct predictions; if Grindmaster title is split between 2 or more players, 2 points go to each member who predicted one of those players)
- Total minutes for Jamaal Franklin (3 points awarded to correct predictions; 1 point awarded to the member(s) closest without going over)
- True or False: Courtney Lee finishes with a positive +/- (3 points awarded to correct predictions; 0 points awarded to incorrect answers)