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Grizzlies Fire Dave Joerger

Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports Images

Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports Images

The Grizzlies parted ways with head coach Dave Joerger this morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter links). Joerger had asked Memphis for permission to speak with other teams regarding their coaching vacancies and Memphis decided to cut its ties with him, Wojnarowski adds. Memphis is still on the hook for Joerger’s $2MM salary for 2016/17, the scribe notes, adding that the coach’s deal included a team option for the 2017/18 season. The Grizzlies intend to pursue former Pacers coach Frank Vogel, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Sacramento had been pushing hard to gain permission from the Grizzlies to speak with Joerger regarding its coaching vacancy, Wojnarowski relays (via Twitter), and Joerger is now at the top of the Kings’ wish list as they seek a replacement for George Karl. Joerger had requested permission to speak with the Kings and Rockets about their coaching vacancies, as Wojnarowski writes in a full-length post. Sacramento’s willingness to give him a long-range deal with annual salaries likely around $4MM made the Kings attractive to Joerger despite their reputation for dysfunction, Wojnarowski notes.

Memphis confirmed that Joerger was let go in an official announcement. “After careful consideration, I concluded that a change was needed to foster the strong culture required to achieve sustainable, long-term success for this organization, the city and our fans,” said GM Chris Wallace. “On behalf of the Grizzlies organization I would like to thank Dave for his work and time in Memphis. We wish Dave and his family all the best and success as he moves forward in his career.”

The trust between Joerger and the front office had eroded over the past several months, Wojnarowski notes, and tensions escalated between the coach and team management. The organization was frustrated with Joerger publicly making disparaging comments about the roster and his own limited role in player personnel, a league source told the Vertical scribe. Joerger had reportedly grown increasingly belligerent to many within the organization, believing the team was setting him up to fail in 2016/17, Wojnarowski adds.

The Grizzlies are quite high on Joerger’s coaching ability, but they failed to see eye-to-eye on personnel matters, with Joerger believing the team didn’t take his opinions seriously and the team convinced otherwise, as Wojnarowski details. Joerger was pushing for either a long-term deal from the Grizzlies or a way out, and that’s what led to his dismissal, according to Wojnarowski.

In three seasons as the Grizzlies’ head coach, Joerger’s record was 147-99 (.598), including a mark of 9-13 in the playoffs. Memphis reached the conference semifinals in 2015, losing to the eventual champion Warriors. The coach arguably did his best work this season, leading a patchwork roster that had been decimated by injuries to a record of 42-40 and the seventh playoff seed in the Western Conference.

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11 thoughts on “Grizzlies Fire Dave Joerger

  1. Dana Gauruder

    Joerger did a great paste-and-glue job with an injury-riddled team. He’s as desirable, if not moreso, than Vogel on the open marker.

  2. Steve in Chicago

    They Thibodeaux’d him.

  3. @CW_Crouse

    This is shocking. I wonder if they will make a push for Vogel

    • Eddie Scarito

      The latest update should answer that question….

      • @CW_Crouse

        Ahh, I see. That’s not a bad move if they are going to keep Z-Bo.

  4. Dont really get the joerger to Indiana interest obviously people didnt listen to what Bird said about what he was looking for in a coach and that is offensive that is space, pace, and more three point shooting. Last I checked memphis hardly shot threes or ran in transition or scored 106ppg soooooo get that out of here promptly.

    • I agree with that but Joerger might’ve been forced to create a system based on his guys. I’m pretty sure that in the past few drafts and/or free agency periods that he wanted some guys to help space out the floor and the Grizzlies kept going after bigs and aging veterans.

  5. dlevin11

    Bird should hire Mark Jackson for his space and pace rebuild

    • Mark Jackson is not a bad candidate but that whole hiring former players that played for the franchise is overrated look how the lakers turned out. And mark didnt leave golden state on the best terms with the team or management. Jeff Hornacek is the best available option who had clear success running pace and space while making his team better shooters overall. He cld use myles like he used channing frye. If not Hornacek there are better options than mark such as
      Messina (Spurs Assistant)
      Tibbetts (Portland Assistant)
      Jarron Collins (Warriors Assistant)
      Stephen Silas (Hornets Assistant)
      All have success with pace and space

  6. Another coach who gets thrown under the bus by an inept GM, who gutted the franchise’s future and stuck the coach with an aging team whose window of opportunity has closed. They will be a non playoff team and won’t be able to hold off young teams like Minnesota and Utah.

  7. Arthur Hill

    Joerger was my choice for Coach of the Year. Nobody ever overcame so many injuries to so many key players and reached the playoffs. In no way did he deserve to be fired.

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