Grizzlies Owner Talks 2018/19, Goals, Bickerstaff

The Grizzlies‘ 22-win season in 2017/18 was their worst showing since they posted an identical record in 2007/08, and snapped a streak of seven consecutive playoff appearances. However, controlling owner Robert Pera sounds confident that Memphis’ struggles last season can be primarily attributed to injuries and bad luck, as Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal details. Pera expects the club to be “competitive” once again in 2018/19, assuming it can stay healthier.

Pera asserted those expectations during an appearance on the Grind City Media podcast on the club’s official site, with Tillery passing along some of the highlights. As Tillery observes, the conversation didn’t touch on a number of issues that other local reporters might like to press Pera on, including David Fizdale‘s firing, Chandler Parsons‘ contract, and further details of the buy/sell process that allowed Pera to retain control of the franchise.

Still, Pera made a few interesting comments during the discussion. Here they are, via Tillery:

On his expectations for the 2018/19 season:

“Assuming Marc [Gasol] and Mike [Conley] come back healthy, I think we have a couple of surrounding pieces that are younger players that are going to make a positive impact. We’ll get another good player in this draft. I see no reason why we can’t return to being a 50-win plus team.”

On his goals now that he’s firmly entrenched as the Grizzlies’ controlling owner:

“I’d like to put my stamp on the team more now that the ownership situation is resolved. I’d like to apply some of the skills that made my company, Ubiquiti, successful. I also realize it’s a little bit different. With my company, I can make all the decisions on the long-term (vision). I can be kind of a dictator. With the team, there’s more elements than just the long-term picture. You have to have some transparency with the fans. … How you handle the media and the fans are almost as important as the long-term goals. It took me some time to find my bearings the last several years.”

On what it means to put his stamp on the franchise:

“The goal for the Grizzlies is that people know that if they take a player or find a player, this is [the] best organization in the league for realizing that player’s potential.”

On the promotion of J.B. Bickerstaff to the permanent head coaching position:

“We’ve had turnover in the head coaching spot and J.B. brings some continuity. The players have worked with him and the players all love him. He’s very transparent. He carries himself really well. He’ll compromise when he sees it’s best for the organization. I have confidence in him to be that centerpiece of the culture we want to build. He’s a great fit.”

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6 thoughts on “Grizzlies Owner Talks 2018/19, Goals, Bickerstaff

  1. Dionis

    I thought Jamychal Green was the ideal fit alongside Marc Gasol but Jaren Jackson Jr might be all Memphis needs at the 4 position to thrust themselves amongst the West elites. Obviously this is all assuming Dillon Brooks makes the leap next season and if they can add a starting shooting guard.

  2. Chris

    The Grizzlies needed to really tank hard last season. I’m sure they could’ve gotten some nice assets for Marc Gasol. Recent Grizzlies draft history gives me little faith in them next week. Best case scenario, the Grizzlies will be fighting for the 7th and 8th seeds.

  3. This statement from the owner doesn’t really reflect the “they’re open to trading the 4th pick because ownership wants to win next year” message that’s been put out there. If ownership’s position is such that it may lead to the 4th pick being available, it’s not apparent from this. Any of the top players (except maybe Bamba) are fits on Memphis, both next year and into the future. I’ll be surprised if they trade the pick.

    • x%sure

      Jackson would look pretty awkward at forward, at least at first. But you take him because he has as much chance as any of them to be the best of ’18.

      I wonder if the purpose of this media play is to change course from trading out. “We’ll get another good player in this draft”.

  4. I would have trade Gasol, I mean I feel sorry for the guy, loosing so much in Memphis he needs to go to a contender, deserves better than Memphis.

    • x%sure

      They contended, 7 straight playoffs, & 4 straight years averaging 53 wins. And it sounds like they had a unique fan-friendly style in the “Grindhouse”.
      They never got past the round of 4, that must be what you meant.

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