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Trouble with the Memphis Grizzlies: Lash Dismissed, Levien to Resign, Joerger and Hollinger's Future in Question

So much for continuity...multiple sources are reporting that a major shakeup is in the works due to an issue between Owner Robert Pera and CEO Jason Levien.


First, what we know: these tweets came from Marc Stein at about 1:20 PM Monday.

Next, possible reasoning. From a December article by Grizzlies' beat writer Ron Tillery about a possible front office issue.

Most Griz fans probably are not familiar with Dave Mincberg. He began the ownership/management transition -- alongside former agents Jason Levien and Stu Lash, and ESPN writer John Hollinger -- as the team’s lead attorney much like Stan Meadows was to former owner Michael Heisley.

Now, there are rumblings that Mincberg’s role has been greatly reduced as Levien deals with his first internal snag. I’m hearing that Mincberg ruffled feathers with his unwanted ambition that included a desire to effectively become the team’s general manager...

There was, according to Chris Vernon of 92.9 ESPN in Memphis, a real clash involving Levien and Pera over the dismissal of Assistant GM Stu Lash. Mincberg, mentioned above, is now the lawyer for Robert Pera and is possibly using this connection to leverage his way into a larger role in basketball operations. Vernon confirmed on his radio show that both Lash and Levien are indeed gone from the Memphis Grizzlies.

As the reasons come out and the aftermath occurs in the coming weeks, this is a DISASTER for a Grizzlies organization that is a month away from the NBA Draft and one of the biggest off-seasons in their history. Jason Levien has run this team since the sale became official 2 seasons ago; from the FedEx Forum to daily operations, he has been Pera's man on the ground in Memphis and now he is gone. Levien also brought on John Hollinger, a key personnel member of the Front Office, and Dave Joerger, the Head Coach of the Grizzlies. Their status is now up in the air.

Stay tuned to Grizzly Bear Blues for updates on this story as they develop.

UPDATE: Tom Ziller's article on Jason Levien resigning from the Sacramento Kings four years ago.

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