On Wednesday afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Memphis Grizzlies have fired coach J.B. Bickerstaff and reassigned GM Chris Wallace to a scouting capacity in the front office. According to his sources, they are also promoting Jason Wexler to President of Basketball Operations and Zach Kleiman to Executive VP, whom will be in charge of day-to-day basketball matters, essentially taking Chris Wallace’s job. John Hollinger will also reportedly be demoted to a senior advisory role.
Sources: The Grizzlies are promoting Jason Wexler to President, overseeing both business and basketball -- and Zach Kleiman to Executive VP of Basketball Operations as the day-to-day lead on basketball matters. https://t.co/AWOekLnBF4— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2019
The Grizzlies will also reportedly begin their coaching search and will look for more seasoned personnel to join the front office.
Grizzlies will start a search for a new head coach and pursue some more experienced personnel to join the front office, sources said. For now, though: Zleiman completes an ascent in front office to top basketball role, essentially replacing Wallace. Major changes for Memphis.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2019
While this is a move that deserves to be celebrated by fans of the Memphis Grizzlies, the timing is certainly odd. Robert Pera made Chris Wallace go out to answer questions as apart of season exit interviews this morning, and then reports of Bickerstaff’s firing and Wallace’s demotion surfaced this afternoon. During the season exit interviews, Wallace also said on record that Bickerstaff would return next season.
With all things considered, this was probably not the right time for these reports to surface even if the right decisions are being made. It is unclear at this time whether Wallace was aware of his demotion and Bickerstaff’s firing before he gave his season-exit interview.
Regardless, it is a bad look for an already unstable franchise.