HoopsHype Jason Levien rumors


October 8, 2013 Updates

As CEO of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and managing partner of MLS’s D.C. United, Levien is getting used to the rigors of running two sports teams, two franchises in which he also has ownership stakes. On this particular summer day, he is negotiating D.C. United’s deal for a new $300 million stadium. Down the Strip, he is set to attend an NBA owners meeting. Later in the day, he will fly to Miami on a private jet seeking to convince free agent Mike Miller to sign with the Grizzlies. If he’s feeling any pressure from the deals he’s trying to close, he’s not showing it. He casually orders another tea while explaining the circuitous path that has taken him from being an idealistic young White House intern to one of sports’ busiest dealmakers, yet still a relative unknown throughout industry circles. “I don’t know how I got to where I am,” Levien said. “When I get stuck, I pick up a machete and make my own path.” Sports Business Daily

Levien would not disclose his stake in the team, but Pera is the controlling owner and chairman and, like the Sixers deal, the Grizzles ownership group has some star-studded names, including Justin Timberlake and Peyton Manning. “Jason never seems to be rushing through anything,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, who sat at the negotiating table with Levien over the sale of the Grizzlies. “There is never any sense of desperation. He just stays at it, and as a result, he has become a very effective dealmaker in the industry. It has been fun to watch him morph from a dealmaker into a first-class operator.” Sports Business Daily

July 30, 2013 Updates
June 24, 2013 Updates

The workouts are over. It’s time for Memphis to figure out its immediate future before Thursday’s NBA Draft. The Grizzlies held their sixth and seventh -- and final -- pre-draft workouts Monday morning. Nine players worked out in front of director of player personnel and basketball development Stu Lash, GM Chris Wallace and CEO Jason Levien. The group included Jordan Aboudou (France), Vander Blue (Marquette), Jackie Carmichael (Illinois State), Joffrey Lauvergne (France), Janis Timma (Latvia), Adonis Thomas (Memphis), Mitchell Anderson, Jr. (Arkansas Pine Bluff), Jack Cooley (Notre Dame) and Arsalan Kazemi (Iran). Fox Sports Tennessee

June 12, 2013 Updates
June 11, 2013 Updates
June 7, 2013 Updates
June 4, 2013 Updates

Grizzlies management is still upset over its belief that Hollins didn't publicly welcome the Rudy Gay trade, a league source said. Hollins said his thoughts on the deal were misinterpreted and declined to go into detail about his expected departure from Memphis. Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien couldn't be reached for comment. Yahoo! Sports

June 2, 2013 Updates

The Memphis Grizzlies have told coach Lionel Hollins that he is free to talk to other teams before his contract expires at the end of this month, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the issue. While it remains possible that Hollins could return, this is a clear sign that negotiations on a new contract have stalled. According to the person, Hollins had a three-hour meeting with Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien on Thursday that went well and negotiations in subsequent days took place with his agent, Warren LeGarie. USA Today Sports

Doubts about Hollins' willingness to work for new Grizzlies owner Robert Pera and CEO Jason Levien have likewise been in circulation since the coach's multiple critiques of the Gay deal in the immediate aftermath of the trade. Sources told ESPN.com that Hollins' relationship with star forward Zach Randolph has been strained at times throughout the season as well. ESPN.com

May 28, 2013 Updates
March 27, 2013 Updates
February 12, 2013 Updates
February 8, 2013 Updates

The Grizzlies say they will not trade Zach Randolph this season. The team has fielded calls proposing trades for its all-star, but Griz CEO Jason Levien said he told Randolph on Thursday that he won't be dealt this season. NBA teams have been told the Grizzlies aren't looking to move the 31-year-old forward, who averages 15.7 points and 11.7 rebounds. Memphis Commercial Appeal

February 2, 2013 Updates

The Grizzlies' new owner is defending the trade of his team's leading scorer and other moves to dump salary, saying he believes they can do some ''serious damage'' in the playoffs with the changes. Robert Pera took part in a web chat Friday with Memphis' season ticket holders along with chief executive officer Jason Levien, and Pera's first question was about whether the new ownership group has the financial ability to run the team. ''This team was built for playoff basketball,'' Pera wrote. ''In playoff basketball, getting defensive stops and creating high percentage scoring opportunities under pressure becomes much more important. ... And that is what this team can do best.'' Yahoo! Sports

'We made the second trade because we feel it allows us to put a more competitive product on the floor this season and in future seasons,'' Levien wrote. ''We got better. We also picked up a valuable draft pick as well as trade exceptions that will allow us to be opportunistic in going on the offensive moving forward.'' Pera wrote that NBA teams have won titles with superstars and without, and he believes the Grizzlies as they are now built potentially can become the next example. ''Between Tayshuan's winning pedigree, the league's best perimeter defense, and Mark/Zbo returning back to the focal point of the offense; I believe we are a far more dangerous playoff team today,'' Pera wrote of Marc Gasol and All-Star forward Zach Randolph. Yahoo! Sports

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.