If you are on Twitter and follow a certain American President, you may notice that the replies to his tweets are always filled with an immense amount of rage. I have always thought that was extremely dumb even if you cannot stand him. Do they think that he will magically get removed from office if their tweet is angry enough? It just doesn’t seem productive in any way.
But then I imagined what it would be like if Memphis Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace had a Twitter account. And yeah, I can now better empathize with those people who send angry tweets at the President. I can definitely see Chris Wallace tweeting about how great the organizational culture is in Memphis, and me replying, “You’re fake news!!”
To be sure, the legend of the overall incompetence of Chris Wallace continues to grow every year, but it was earlier this year when the legend just became comical. Specifically, it was at the trade deadline. I remember it like it was just two months ago.
I was sitting in my room as I studied like a good college student should. Unfortunately, like most millennials, I can rarely go 10 minutes without checking my phone. So I scrolled through my Twitter timeline, expecting to simply catch up on the Memphis Grizzlies’ exit interviews.
And then I saw this. And I was triggered.
"Even if Tyreke doesn't come back, I don't regret not doing a deal" -- Wallace— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) April 12, 2018
Yes, Wallace said that he had no regrets about not trading a player whom he had sit out in preparation of being traded —and a player who will not be back next year.
Also, Napoleon didn’t regret invading Russia during the winter.
Nearly three months ago, I wrote about how the Grizzlies should fire Chris Wallace, even though it wouldn’t happen due to an unstable ownership situation. When he didn’t trade Tyreke Evans at the trade deadline, that should have been the last of his many mistakes during his tenure. But some people managed to talk me off the ledge.
Maybe Wallace and Tyreke came to an agreement that he would resign with the Grizzlies?
Maybe the Grizzlies can resign him for the mid-level exception?
I decided to withhold my better judgement until the offseason. However, since there is now a 99.9% chance that Tyreke will not be back (at least it seems that way, they clearly hope he will in memphis), I will now allow my judgement to rain down like it’s Sodom and Gomorrah.
It’s time for change...
Here is a simple three-part argument:
Premise 1: Chris Wallace has not done a good job as the general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Premise 2: An organization should not continue to employ people who do not do good jobs.
Premise 3: The Grizzlies should fire Chris Wallace.
Pretty simple, right?
From Jordan Adams to Jeff Green to Chandler Parsons to Wade Baldwin IV to Hasheem Thabeet (perhaps more ownership than him here, but still, he was on the job) to Tyreke Evans, the mistakes of Wallace have piled up into a mountain. Now that’s not to say that there haven’t been some gems here and there. Dillon Brooks and Ivan Rabb were two nice finds in this past year’s draft, and MarShon Brooks was a good late-season addition. The signing of Evans for the bi-annual exception was a good signing in the offseason.
Yet the failures have still far outweighed the successes.
It may be fair to give Wallace some credit for the peak Grit ‘N’ Grind years, although he stumbled in to much of it (the Pau Gasol trade that brought Marc to Memphis is still awful in retrospect, and no one could have known the impact that Zach Randolph and Tony Allen ended up having). However, he failed to make the success of the Core Four years sustainable, never giving Memphis a true chance of building for the future. As SLAM MAGAZINE put it, Memphis has been living on borrowed time for years as Mike Conley and Marc Gasol kept a sinking ship afloat.
And when you lose one of the two players who have kept that ship afloat, the boat sinks.
...But change isn’t coming...
When Wallace didn’t trade Tyreke at the deadline, he never had any chance of losing his job due to the unstable ownership situation. After all, who was there to fire him? And now that Robert Pera will remain the majority owner of the team, he still will not be losing his job. Pera appears to be comfortable with the current group in the front office, and no change appears to be on the horizon.
Really, it’s tragic.
There is a reason that there was not a real coaching search before hiring J.B. Bickerstaff as the permanent head coach: No one else wanted to come here. Whether it was Hollins, Joerger or Fizdale, the Grizzlies’ front office has shown indifference and near disdain for the role that coaches play in the NBA.
The national media would tell us to not be surprised that the Grizzlies have made these poor decisions over the years. As Stephen A. Smith said, this is just what they do.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
...Unless you say something
In the age of social media, everyone has a voice. The days where journalists and columnists were the only true voices in sports are long gone. If we’re being completely real, anyone can become a blog boy (or girl) now.
If you are tired of the status quo in Memphis and believe that this franchise is capable of more, let your voice be heard. I may now sound more like a motivational speaker rather than a blogger, but you really do have the power to create change.
And it is long past time for there to be change in the front office for the Memphis Grizzlies.