HoopsHype Barry Hecker rumors

December 12, 2013 Updates

Former Grizzlies assistant coach Barry Hecker has finally had his say. Hecker recently used The Sporting News to slam Griz coach Dave Joerger and explain his abrupt dismissal from the Grizzlies last season during their Western Conference semifinals series against the Oklahoma series. You can read thearticle here, but many people involved in the situation will take issue with his accounts although none of them find it worthwhile to publicly respond. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Everyone in the organization reviewed video footage of Hecker’s encounter with that Thunder fan and was disturbed by Hecker’s actions. The fan was a big-time attorney whom Hollins eventually called to apologize for the incident. Thunder general manager Sam Presti couldn’t have been more grateful to Hollins for the gesture. Memphis Commercial Appeal

December 9, 2013 Updates

In an interview with Sporting News, Hecker detailed the situation that led to his departure, which effectively ended a well-respected career of over 20 years with teams including the Grizzlies, Clippers and Cavaliers, and the tension within the Memphis coaching staff that preceded it. Not only was Hecker let go during the playoffs, but Hollins—winner of 56 games last season—was not retained after his contract expired. It started with a situation involving a fan sitting near the bench. One rumored version of the story had Hecker going after a young fan sitting courtside, telling him to sit down because he was blocking the coaches’ view. Hecker said that was not the case. “There was a big guy sitting there next to our bench,” Hecker recalled. “He had to be 6-4, 250 pounds. He kept standing up, and they stand up a lot there in Oklahoma City, I can understand all that. But I said to him, ‘Sir, can you please sit down in a timely fashion because I can’t see the game?’ He says, ‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘I am one of the assistant coaches.’ I told him, I understand standing up, it is exciting, you are in the front row. But he was blocking everybody.” Sporting News

As for the strange end to his coaching career, Hecker said he is at peace with it. He has moved back to his house in Utah, and says he is coaching kids now. “I don’t need the NBA,” he said. “I am not one of these guys who wants to coach until I drop dead. I am coaching 11-year-olds and I enjoy that as much as coaching in the NBA. But the pay is not as good.” Sporting News

“Why would you hire a guy with no wins in the NBA and get rid of another guy who took you to 56 wins?” Hecker said. “Just from a strict business standpoint, why? They were afraid of Lionel, because they couldn’t control Lionel. … Joerger, because he had worked it so hard, they felt comfortable with him. They said they didn’t need Lionel, they could just hire (Joerger). He was taking all the credit, basically, anyway.” Sporting News

May 14, 2013 Updates
May 13, 2013 Updates

Memphis Grizzlies assistant Barry Hecker has left the team during the Western Conference semifinals for what coach Lionel Hollins says is a "personal matter." Hollins said after the Monday morning shootaround that Hecker's departure is "nothing that's public consumption." ESPN.com

Team officials say only that Hecker is "no longer" with the Grizzlies. Hecker had been on Hollins' staff in Memphis the past five seasons. Hecker also has worked as a scout, player personnel director and assistant coach for the Clippers and Cavaliers. ESPN.com

June 4, 2011 Updates

After talking to people on both sides and sifting through the B.S., here's the deal with the Grizzlies assistant coaches. Johnny Davis, Henry Bibby, Barry Hecker and Dave Joerger have contracts that run through June 30. They all (including the departed Damon Stoudamire) signed one-year deals just before the team left for summer league last year. Even after making a 16-game improvement and locking up head coach Lionel Hollins, the coaching staff went through the draft without new deals. Management is taking a similar approach this year: slow to negotiate deals while it researches how most NBA teams will handle a potential lockout. A source emphatically said that the Griz intend to have deals with the coaching staff by the June 23 draft. Those deals, according to the source, will likely include full pay during a lockout if it occurs. But don't expect the Griz staff to go from being one of the lowest paid to receiving significant raises. Memphis Commercial Appeal

An ESPN.com article attempted to shed light on the situation but erred on how playoff bonuses were handled. According to sources on both sides, Hollins and the assistants each had playoff bonuses written in their contracts. Hollins received a set amount while each coach negotiated a percentage of their salary. For example, the lowest paid assistants received 10-percent of their salary as a playoff bonus. Other assistants received more per the terms of their contract. Memphis Commercial Appeal

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