Grizzlies Hire John Hollinger

December 13 2012 at 6:10pm CDT By Zach Links

6:10pm: Hollinger will serve as the Vice President of Basketball Operations, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).   The Grizzlies also hired former Nuggets employee Stu Lash as Director of Player Personnel, according to Chris Herrington of The Memphis Flyer (via Twitter).

5:20pm: The Grizzlies have hired ESPN's John Hollinger to a front office position, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal (via Twitter).  Hollinger is best known for his statistics-heavy analysis and Player Efficiency Rating (PER) metric, which crunches numbers from every portion of the box score to quantify a player's performance.

"It's incredibly difficult to leave ESPN, but the chance to work for an NBA team and the Grizzlies' new ownership was an irresistible opportunity," Hollinger told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

The Grizzlies, under new owner Michael Pera and CEO Jason Levien have made a concerted effort to focus in on basketball analytics.  The Rockets made a similar leap in 2007 when they tabbed MIT graduate Daryl Morey as their General Manager. 

Ironically, Hollinger's resume and career path have a great deal in common with Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn.  Kahn worked as a full-time sportswriter for six years and both were previously employed by The Oregonian.  Hollinger has been critical of Kahn's decision making during his tenure in Minnesota.

In addition to ESPN.com and The Oregonian, Hollinger also wrote for the New York Sun and Sports Illustrated.

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