HoopsHype Chris Wallace rumors

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June 22, 2014 Updates

The Celtics were burned 17 years ago when the banked on Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer to help their rebuilding project. Billups lasted just 51 games and Mercer two seasons in Boston. A year later, Paul Pierce fell to the Celtics with the 10th pick after being projected as a top-three selection, and he went on to become the franchise’s No. 2 all-time scorer. “In essence, we were very lucky because we got Paul Pierce,” said former Celtics general manager Chris Wallace. “It’s better to be lucky than good. I’ve been doing this a long time, seven teams and 17 years, it’s an inexact science. What would have happened if we couldn’t get to Paul [in the draft] and we had to deal with the rest of the players? There would have been no championship in 2008.” Boston Globe

June 20, 2014 Updates

“It’s going forward,” Wallace said. “We’re very excited about what Zach’s done in the past and hope to have him here in the future. This has really been a terrific boon for both sides. He’s obviously meant a great deal to us on and off the court. And Memphis has worked for him. This has been, by far, the best stop for him since he’s been in the NBA. So we’re working towards that goal.” Randolph’s agent, Raymond Brothers, shared that optimism in a text to The Commercial Appeal. Brothers and Wallace hammered out a four-year contract extension for Randolph during the 2011 NBA playoffs. Memphis Commercial Appeal

June 18, 2014 Updates

The Memphis Grizzlies are poised to remove the "interim" tag from general manager Chris Wallace while conducting a search to hire a "GM-in-waiting" who will train under Wallace, multiple sources told ESPN.com. Wallace, who has been with the Grizzlies since 2007, returned to his role as head of the Grizzlies' basketball operations last month when CEO Jason Levien surprisingly parted ways with the team. The team hasn't formalized his role with a new contract as yet but has begun the process of interviewing candidates to become his right-hand assistant. ESPN.com

Ian O'Connor: Pre-parade note on how the #Celtics & the greatest executive of all handed Tony Parker to San Antonio in the 2001 draft... Chris Wallace wanted Tony Parker at 21 in 01 draft; Red Auerbach banged his cane on floor & said,"I want (Joe) Forte." #Spurs Twitter

May 29, 2014 Updates

Then, Tuesday night, I did it again. All those people had traipsed off to Central BBQ to hear me speak. And somehow, in the whirl of the day, I had completely forgotten the whole thing. It’s a speaker’s worst nightmare. I had trouble falling asleep Tuesday night. But Wednesday morning, I got a note from a Facebook friend who told me someone had stepped out of the crowd at Central BBQ to take my place. Who? Chris Wallace. Yes, that Chris Wallace, the man who is even now trying to salvage the offseason for the Grizzlies. He came bounding off the bench to save Robert Pera and now he had come bounding off the bench to save me. The man isn’t just a general manager. He’s a super hero. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Let’s be honest, it’s astonishing that Wallace was even at the Touchdown Club meeting Tuesday. How in the world does he have time for that? But one of the admirable things about Wallace is the way he has become a part of the community, not just symbolically, not just by joining boards, but by actually joining in. So it’s not really an accident that Wallace was at the meeting. It’s a reflection of who he is. “I rarely miss a Touchdown Club meeting,” he told me Wednesday, when I called to thank him. “It’s not just the speakers, though I love the speakers. It’s seeing the same group of guys.” Memphis Commercial Appeal

Naturally, Wallace agreed to tell some stories. The same way he agreed to fill in for former Griz CEO Jason Levien last week. Indeed, for all the criticism that Robert Pera has taken over what has unfolded around the Grizzlies of late, one of the happy developments is that Wallace is back in the organization, and apparently will be going forward. Memphis Commercial Appeal

It was a mistake for Levien to exile him in the first place, honestly. Wallace is as loyal as they come. But when Levien did exile him, Wallace didn’t blast the organization and tell all sorts of tales about Levien’s incompetence. Note the difference between that and the fallout from Levien’s eventual exit. No question, Wallace was in a different situation because he was still technically under contract to the Grizzlies. But if you have been reading the reports on the Memphis NBA franchise this past week, you know that it’s not hard to trash a guy anonymously. Memphis Commercial Appeal

May 27, 2014 Updates

Griz general manager Chris Wallace, who is running the franchise on an interim basis, is a candidate for the job and considered a valued member of the organization. Wallace has been busy preparing Memphis for the June 26 NBA draft. The Griz have the 22nd overall pick in the first round, and have their first pre-draft workout planned for Friday in FedExForum. “Whether we decide on Chris or not for GM, I want him in the organization in some capacity,” Pera said Sunday during a Twitter chat with fans in which he announced that Joerger would remain the coach. Memphis Commercial Appeal

May 26, 2014 Updates

Wallace, a popular figure in the Memphis community and responsible for resurrecting the franchise as GM, had been exiled out of basketball operations by Levien. Wallace has strong contacts and relationships around the NBA, and rival GMs and agents told Yahoo they're thrilled to be dealing with him again in an official capacity for Memphis. Yahoo! Sports

The Grizzlies plan to start a search for a new GM and will consider Wallace as a candidate. Nevertheless, Pera has insisted Wallace will continue to be a part of the organization whether he's chosen to run the team on a full-team basis again or not. Yahoo! Sports

May 21, 2014 Updates
May 20, 2014 Updates

The Grizz were off the board until Monday’s shocking turn, when the team fired Jason Levien, the team’s CEO, and Stu Lash, the assistant GM, almost out of nowhere. Levien even owns a small equity slice of the team, making him one of about 17,423 people who own a chunk of Grizz flesh. No one quite knows what to make of this. David Mincberg, the team’s in-house counsel, appears to have made a power play for more basketball decision-making power, per sources familiar with the situation. There are high-level executives on other teams who have literally not heard of Mincberg. Robert Pera, the most powerful among the team’s owners, conducted his own exit interviews with players after the season, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. That is strange, and Pera is quickly gaining a reputation as a temperamental new owner. Grantland

Geoff Calkins: Put simply, it was the result of a falling out between Pera and Levien. Lash got whacked because he was seen as Levien’s right-hand man. What caused the falling out between Pera and Levien? That depends on whom you believe. Some will tell you this is exactly how it always ends for Levien, the way it ended in Sacramento and Philadelphia. Indeed, go read the stories about Levien’s exit from Sacramento and you’ll see phrases like “front-office split,” “tension within the organization,” and “clandestine power struggle.” The guy plainly has a history. Others will tell you that, yes, Levien may have a history, but he wasn’t at fault here. According to this theory, Levien developed a bond with Pera by flying all over the world with him, putting together this deal. But once Levien actually had to do the job of running the franchise, he wasn’t available to be Pera’s pal. In particular, Pera may have resented the attention Levien paid to other minority owners, including Steve Kaplan. Memphis Commercial Appeal

The buzzer sounded Monday on Jason Levien’s run as Grizzlies’ CEO after two seasons. Levien, along with director of player personnel Stu Lash, was fired as part of the Grizzlies’ unexpected front-office shake-up. Griz majority owner Robert Pera announced the departures in a statement released by the team. The abrupt divorce was the result of an apparently deteriorating relationship between Pera and Levien over the past year, even as the Grizzlies returned to the playoffs with a 50-win campaign. General manager Chris Wallace, who had been essentially sidelined during Levien’s reign, will return to the helm of the franchise’s basketball operations on an interim basis. Dave Joerger remains as head coach. “This has nothing to do with Joerger,” Wallace said. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Previously, Levien had been involved in interactions between Pera and any individual seeking to converse with the Griz owner. But Pera increasingly made maneuvers around the team — such as attending games, and meeting with players and coaches — without Levien by his side. Pera eventually made it known to front office personnel last weekend that changes were on the horizon. “I’m here to help with the process,” Wallace said. “I have tremendous loyalty and feelings for this organization and city. There’s an unfilled promise that I made in 2007 to hold a parade down Beale Street. It’s a total organizational and community effort, and I’m just here to do my part. We’re close and we’ve got to wrap it up and put a bow around it and finish it.” Memphis Commercial Appeal

May 19, 2014 Updates

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