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Dear John (Hollinger),

A battered fan decides it’s time to move on on this Valentine’s Day.

2013 NBA Draft Combine, Day 1 Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

This is satire. Please read it as such.

Dear John (Hollinger, et al.),

I remember the day we met. I had heard so many good things about you from others for so long, but I never dreamed of a day when you and I would be together. So when you took the job as President of Basketball Operations for the Memphis Grizzlies, I swooned, thinking it too good to be true.

It wasn’t. You were here and you were here for me, and I couldn’t have been happier.

Oh, how shortsighted I was...

You used to be everything I looked for in a front office executive: young, brilliant, analytical, and you added that fresh perspective that I so desperately needed. Do you know how hard it was to close my eyes and pretend Chris Wallace was the one? To have to blatantly ignore all the signs from his days in Boston and hope against hope that maybe he would change, maybe he would become a better General Manager?

When you walked in, I thought you were my knight in shining armor, here to whisk me away to my fantasy of NBA Championships, of a revived drafting process that would keep us young forever. I thought you would change things here...

But you didn’t change things.

You changed.

You let them change you. You buddied up with them, with Wallace and Abadi and Stefanski. You let Pera and Straus and Kaplan tear us apart from the inside. And now look at us... a laughingstock of total disarray.

I wish I could tell you this is about me and not you. But frankly, you wouldn’t ever listen to me. I asked for Rodney Hood, not Jordan Adams. I asked for Draymond Green, not Tony Wroten. I asked, no, pleaded with you to trade Tyreke Evans. But against all logic and sensibility, you spurned me each and every time.

And when you did try to please me, you did it all wrong. Ben McLemore instead of Darren Collison? Mario Chalmers coming off an Achilles tear at age 31? JEFF GREEN FOR A FIRST ROUND PICK? It feels like you don’t even know me anymore.

Memphis Grizzlies Introduce JB Bickerstaff as Head Coach Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

I know what you’re probably saying right now. “It’s not my fault! Wallace was in charge of those mistakes!” or “Abadi’s the one really pulling the strings. I can’t do anything about it!” or “We can’t do anything substantive until the ownership situation’s resolved, you know that, baby.” And you may be right about all those points.

But you were there the whole time. You are a representative of that front office whether your fingerprints were on a move or not. You were there, and you were complicit just by being there.

I’m willing to admit I’ve been misguided at moments, asking for the wrong things or asking for too much. You were there for me in those times when I didn’t even realize I needed you. It reminds me that we had some good times.

Remember when Marc Gasol hit that last second shot in Game 4 against the Spurs and the Grindhouse went nuts? Remember when a masked Mike Conley scored 22 points in Game 2 against the Warriors in the most triumphant performance in franchise history? I KNOW you remember that one because that’s when Tony Allen walked through that children’s dance routine!

That’s what makes this so hard...

Memphis Grizzlies Practice in Golden State Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s time for you to go. I’ve stood by you and your mistakes for too long now. I’ve stood here silently, obediently, unquestioningly, and yet you continued to take advantage of my trust in you. I will not allow you to do that any longer.

It’s why I have to move on from you. You and everyone in the front office from Pera to Wallace. I cannot sit here and watch you, amidst all of them, destroy something I love.

I know this is going to be hard—on both of us. You know I wanted you to succeed, and maybe you can elsewhere. But it’s clear to me now, more than ever, that that place is not here.

Which is why I have to let you go.

I wish you all the best, and thank you for the memories.


A Memphis Grizzlies fan