Jason Levien is no longer CEO of the Grizzlies, but he does retain a small minority ownership share of the team, as Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal notes via Twitter. It’s just one piece of an odd-looking puzzle in the wake of the Grizzlies’ announcement Monday that Levien and assistant GM Stu Lash are no longer at the controls. Calkins gives a fuller picture in a pair of subscription only pieces, pointing out that owner Robert Pera only let one of the Grizzlies’ multitude of minority owners, other than Levien, know about the shakeup ahead of time. Joe Nicosia and Pitt Hyde, speaking for a group of Memphis-based minority owners, issued a press release minutes ago.
“We would like to thank Jason for his contributions to Memphis and wish him well in his future endeavors,” the statement reads. “We fully support Robert in his building of a world-class organization and look forward to continuing to work in concert to achieve our ultimate goal of bringing a championship parade down Beale Street. We are confident that as the 2014/15 season draws near, all of Grizz Nation will share in our excitement regarding the future of this organization.”
Here’s more from Calkins’ pieces:
- Coach Dave Joerger hasn’t met with Pera, but he did meet with Pera’s attorney, Joe Abadi, who assured him that he’ll remain as coach, according to Calkins.
- The last time GM Chris Wallace set foot in the Grizzlies offices was last summer, as he tells Calkins. Wallace had been marginalized under Levien’s regime.
- Wallace is fully confident that vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger will stay with the organization after speaking with him, as Wallace tells Calkins, and the organization would like to retain the former ESPN.com writer, Calkins adds. Still, Calkins casts doubt on Hollinger’s willingness to stick around.
- Neither Levien, Lash or Joerger saw Monday’s developments coming, Calkins hears.
- Calkins’ sources are split on whether Levien’s rancorous history as part of the Sixers and Kings organizations repeated itself in Memphis, leading Pera to oust him.
- Levien’s supporters allege that David Mincberg, whom Levien hired as a protege of sorts, helped force Levien out, Calkins reports.