HoopsHype John Hollinger rumors

June 3, 2013 Updates

Hollins acknowledged that he confronted Hollinger after Hollinger walked onto the court and engaged forward Austin Daye during a practice, an incident first reported by Yahoo Sports. Hollins said the report was overblown. “John and I talked about it afterwards, and we laughed about it,” Hollins said. “I just reacted I didn’t know who it was. I didn’t care who it was. If it was President Obama, I probably would have reacted the same way. It wasn’t my motive to show management that I run things. It had nothing to with anything other than that I reacted to somebody jumping on the court.” Memphis Commercial Appeal

June 2, 2013 Updates

During the Grizzlies' playoff run, tensions turned to a confrontation when Hollins exploded during a practice session upon finding Hollinger had walked onto the practice court and engaged forward Austin Daye during a shooting drill, multiple sources told Yahoo! Sports. With the team watching – and with a motive to show his players that he was completely in charge on the floor, sources said – Hollins loudly questioned Hollinger about what he was doing, and why he believed it was appropriate for a management official to intrude on what's considered sacred territory for a coach and team, sources said. Yahoo! Sports

May 28, 2013 Updates
May 4, 2013 Updates
March 5, 2013 Updates

How does your approach to analytics as a team executive differ from your approach as a writer? John Hollinger: The biggest change is that I’m looking at everything through this more narrow lens of “how does this impact the Memphis Grizzlies?” That means I’m probably looking at certain players much more closely and all but ignoring some national stories that I’d be discussing nearly every day in my former gig (like one that rhymes with “Spakers,” for instance), and it means I’m paying a lot more attention to non-NBA stuff (college, Europe, etc.) because that’s the pipeline for incoming players. As a writer I had the luxury of waiting until those guys got to the league if I so chose. NBA.com

March 2, 2013 Updates

Hollinger said that he has had little opportunity to work with the players who are currently on the team, because he showed up in the middle of the season and was initially focused on player transactions. “It was a little hard to jump in and start making demands or whatever,” he said. “So I think our approach has probably been a little cautious. There hasn’t been a lot of opportunity to implement deep analytic concepts at this point.” New York Times

Hollinger described the technology as a potential game-changer in the analytics arms race. Still, such a crushing amount of data is useless without sophisticated analytic techniques, he said, which makes him wary of its immediate utility. “It’s such a revolution that it presents its own challenges,” he said. “The biggest issue is the tsunami of data that they are going to unleash. There’s a lot of great information in there, somewhere, but the ability to process it — that’s the challenge.” New York Times

February 17, 2013 Updates
February 12, 2013 Updates
February 7, 2013 Updates

So when the officials fail to call a moving screen on Atlanta, or a Grizzlies shooter has his toe on the 3-point line, or Zach Randolph makes a strong defensive stand when he could’ve easily checked out, it feels a little different. These plays inform larger truths about the team, just as they did from press row. But as time progresses, every success or failure will be an expression of how well he’s doing the job. “I’ve been pretty calm so far,” Hollinger said. “But inevitably as we get further into this, it will probably get harder.” For Hollinger, watching League Pass and video of NBA basketball used to be an exploration for ideas, themes and patterns. These days, he surveys that landscape through a single lens -- the future of the Memphis Grizzlies. “I’m looking at players a little differently,” Hollinger said. “Any time I’m seeing a player, I’m thinking about how he would fit on our team.” ESPN.com

February 2, 2013 Updates

There is work to be done, of course. The Grizzlies wouldn't have beaten many teams the way they played Friday. It will help when they learn one another's tendencies, or at least one another's names. But for one night, there was happiness. Thanks to the Prince who may find a home in the city of kings. Or, as assistant GM John Hollinger put it: "We're not idiots yet." Memphis Commercial Appeal

January 31, 2013 Updates

The Grizzlies issued a statement on the trade late Wednesday, and embarrassingly had "general manager Chris Wallace" throw out the obligatory organizational quotes on the deal. Only, Wallace had nothing to do with the trade. Nothing. He isn't making calls to teams. He isn't consulted by the new regime. He's waiting until they agree on the terms of his inevitable parting. So, Pera and new CEO Jason Levien take an unpopular trade and assign it to Wallace in the news release. Yahoo! Sports

Levien is making these deals based largely on the recommendations of John Hollinger, a statistician who worked for a cable sports company. The San Antonio Spurs once used him as a consultant and regretfully took his advice to sign a free agent named Jackie Butler. It was such a disaster, the Spurs had to attach Luis Scola to a trade to get Butler out of town. Yahoo! Sports

January 30, 2013 Updates
January 29, 2013 Updates

With more than three months on the job, Levien has begun to transform the Grizzlies with some unexpected additions to his front office staff, tapping long-time business associate Stu Lash to oversee player personnel and long-time sports reporter and advanced analytics guru John Hollinger, formerly from ESPN, as his vice president of basketball operations. "Both guys needed to be recruited a little bit," Levien told USA Today Sports. "I put my agent hat on, but I think both guys were excited." USA Today Sports

Hiring Lash seemed almost inevitable, as he and Levien have a long history together. However, hiring Hollinger away from ESPN was something of a surprise. "I always read his stuff so I sort of knew him from reading his stuff and saying, 'This guy is smart and he writes really well,'" Levien said. "We spent time at the Sloan Conference together (an annual sports analytics conference held by MIT in Boston), and I liked him even more. "I leaned on John when I was an agent a few times to give me advice on how I can use analytics in promoting my clients through negotiation and even in the draft. I understood what he was looking at and what he saw and how that equated to what I was looking at and what I saw. And I said, 'This guy really gets it, he's really sharp.'" USA Today Sports

"If you look at the dynamic of our group, with Jason making the final decision," Lash says, "Chris brings a tremendous amount of experience and he's been here, he's done a great job with the foundation and the core of what this team is. John and myself, having different backgrounds and the transition early on was not very difficult. Chris was very open on how he got to this point with this team and it's been good." It's this kind of synergy of information that Levien envisioned when he brought together his front office. "We definitely have a plan and vision for what the future here looks like," Hollinger said. "I'm sure you want me to share all of it, but unfortunately I can't really disclose USA Today Sports

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