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ESPN 92.9FM>Audio on Demand>>GRIZZLIES CEO JASON LEVIEN ON THE CHRIS VERNON SHOW 1/17/13

GRIZZLIES CEO JASON LEVIEN ON THE CHRIS VERNON SHOW 1/17/13

Jan 17, 2013|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

The CEO of the Memphis Grizzlies is. Jason Levy on adjacent. Hey Chris -- you nice to hear your voice. Thanks for having me on the show. So the first question is why has the grizzlies front office quote -- so quite. Had two good questions. You know I I personally I would say that. -- -- -- -- You know what we should be seeing right now other than supporting this team we've got a lot confidence this group of guys. And we've probably been quiet. In terms to be of the -- that we couldn't working hard. And continuing to grow your organization. You know put the right kind of process peace and placed in the decisions. And just do a lot of work on the street course. Let's talk about on the court and what do you sense is the problem with the grizzlies in these last three games. Rock. Well I would say that there are. You know that the NBC's are still with highs and lows you know it's it's a marathon not a sprint and in five days ago. We -- sitting here. You know rejoicing that went against San Antonio how sweet it was actually -- Three game road trip where we can we want all three -- you talked about special that that less clinical stage. And things are good. And then obviously the last three games have been you know people -- and I think you know what Arnold talked about in terms of not making a shot to -- part of that. And obviously your defense slipped as well. And our defense has been such an elite level through -- -- but you're not accustomed to that but certainly the shot making it a problem. Whether it is local internationally Rudy Gay trade rumors are everywhere is -- your fault that there are Rudy Gay trade rumors all over the Internet. Carriker. You know I I don't think show I will tell you that -- you know we've got a very good team. And we've got a very strong core group of players. And -- they should still receive entirely yearly get near the trade deadline. When all kind of rumors come out there. And I guess you know what we speak it seems as we need to do our organization does to understand what they're looking for how they're trying to get better. And what we're looking forward trying to get better. The information that's not always accurate. Come that of those -- glued to members of the media. And it sort of collateral damage -- doing your work in the NBA. So but I would say that we're certainly not looking to trade one specific -- -- anyone right now we're listening to other changed where we're. Answer the phone talking to -- about what they're looking forward. Blood I know I don't I think I think he's terrific player. And he's been a terrific -- to Memphis -- for many years. Is it troubling for you to see in the media. When you do talk to teams and and and that it's not only -- these names -- granddaughter's -- his service it's obviously drew the -- Of a lot of grizzlies fans what would your message to fans beat it beat. They'd see their favorite players coming up in the media and are worried about them possibly getting traded from the team. Well my message to fans would be number one don't believe everything you read or hear in the media obviously. -- we really like virtually a lot and we believe in these guys who go -- confident -- this group of guys who got a lot of confidence in our coach. So there's a lot of misinformation out there number war. -- number two you know organization had a job to do and and our job is to the first class organization that's just being. For success has sustained success. And that means doing work in talking to your Twitter and other competitors and understanding what their goals in the dark. And listening to them and maybe argument could you know I was on another team I'd say I want I want Zach Randolph to I want Rudy Gay also -- these guys are terrific players. So there's certainly those names come up because the other teams recognize how would they are and I think that is a credit. This special adding that he -- we were searching the 24 right now people like you might not be asking for players much. We hadn't had a succession of you know. Well into the postseason the last two years we've had. I I don't think it would be asking for players. But we're not. You know they give these guys -- -- we believe this team. But we're also thinking about how we can make a roster better if there's something to do. And you know without comic ever on any specific trade speculation but still part of the business is part of the that would be India. Does this team need to get under the luxury tax it does not take a rocket scientist of pull up hoops hype salaries. And look where the grizzlies stay and you realize you are in the luxury tax right now. There has become this narrative both locally and nationally the the grizzlies do need to get. Under the luxury tax for this year therefore they need to make a money shedding move. Therefore they need to trade one of their big contracts. Speak to me if you can about your financial situation for this season -- end. The challenges if you did not make a move you would have going for. Well you know there's no. You know it is that we do we believe that the NBA coverage today and we didn't do TBA that and that can follow everyone recognizes we've got. I think one of the fortified high salary. Rosters and the week. By and and I think people also understand that the collective bargaining agreement got a lot more restrictive. -- that kind of mood you can make when you're in the luxury tax separate from the finances. In terms of making your team better what kind -- you can make what kind of players you can sorry how you can sort of -- So it's important decisions like that we face that every -- spacious car. You I don't think we might actually 82 more weeks ten weeks ago where weeks. Took over the school. You know what actually it was a there's not a hard litmus test luxury actually in one particular season like Tricia you're next year. But over the long haul I don't think it makes sense -- seemed to be -- pure luxury texting for many years to come. Because of course not only is it an economic issue but it restrict -- ability to be competitive on the court. In what you think Ken obviously you you talk to Robert -- on a regular basis via. Majority owner of the grizzlies is it imperative that you get under the luxury tax this season. I would say I would not it's imperative. I would say it's one of the multitude of options to wait we can go. I would say we're looking at various scenarios figuring out. Just what the fans are talking about do we just you know do we listen to the other teams and say no thank you what it is we got a terrific core let's keep it together. Do we think about what other possibilities there are but we like our team we like our players a lot we go to guy we have. And beat the the waiting -- this season you know. Not a green -- five days. It's been wonderful to see -- gritty. You know for us we're very fortunate the first nine -- ten -- shoot you only managing this this organization. To commit to such a terrific book guys have been such a strong strong. I speaking to that we're talking to Jason Levy and CEO of the grizzlies when major awards and -- from Yahoo.com put out his own. Rudy trade column one of the things that was mentioned in there is. A whether it was to Phoenix or if Rudy was to get traded anywhere else. The reason that this is on the table is because the grizzlies front office does not believe they are a contender is that true do you believe. That this team. As currently constructed is not a contender. No I would say that I believe we believe collectively that we've got a very strong team. And I on any given night we can be anybody in India we go to Oklahoma City is recruitment because -- -- policy. You know we can we can go to LA beat clippers which I think we can beat any more they -- tonight just like recruit five days ago. Six days ago now what we beat San Antonio Spurs. They're terrific victory. So on what we think we've got a very strong team. I think those kind of comments are more likely coming from our. Opposition other teens who are saying hey Jason we love Zach Randolph. And you are generally not because I know I you know I mean I think that's where that stops probably emanating from. And I understand that -- -- -- we've got a job to do. And the other 2019 have a job to do and we got some very good players and then I think that that's where all the activity truck. Okay well if that's true when you do believe you're a contender. Then why wouldn't it just be. I guess and Ed from a fan out there I'd go with a -- to just tinkering on the AG's because you've got your core in place why screw with the team. That is the fourth seed and you believe as a chance to compete why not just ride it out for this year. I can get to a -- I think that's a legitimate argument -- one of the potential path to take. I think we're certainly you're trying to evaluate and observe everything. But we we wanna be as competitive as we can be not just this season but for the next 2345. Years. And you know how we create that window for ourselves to beat. A legitimate contender and a competitive scene that long period -- and so we're certainly thinking through this and things -- you're talking about on your show. Were gathering data information by talking looking at -- around the league and by internally thinking through one of our best options. What do you need. Well I -- I think certainly you know. In the last. Three games we usually we obviously can make shots better. And we need more Jazeera defensive end and we had to bet earlier this -- -- -- -- if you look at totality of course he didn't. I think it's been a very strong year. And I think you have to be careful not to be alarmist at one moment -- reactionary at one moment to a three game losing streak. And -- contention that the -- need to look at the totality of the season. Exactly what it's 37 games. And used to eat the patterns emerge and you see that we're very strong defense team. We we have some terrific players Archie but there's certain organ and one of them is -- right now we haven't gotten it yet but we believe they're guys. Russia can make shots. And will make shots and you know they they've shown they can do that. He is Jason Levy and CEO of the Memphis Grizzlies last week a Lionel -- came out to end. First let's hit on his thoughts on statistical analysis. You know he went on their -- -- charge show he was on other radio shows and and has talked about it it at his press converts -- But the grizzlies game that he is not -- big believer in. Advanced analytics. Are shaping the decisions that you make on the court. How then that is it going to work how can you guys be on the same page with your coach when clearly you guys are tremendous believers. In statistical analysis and advanced analytic shaping your thought processes and decision making. And a coach that clearly has made it known that he rejects that. Well first why would get their eyes you know I it'll act and we could communicate it -- -- on a regular basis and I think several members workable as our Chris -- John owner myself and and it's been very positive but interaction communication. And it's it's been very good dialogue and you know I went back and -- -- comments about analytics. And I have to tell you that. I agree with most forty -- And because you know we would fundamentally believe the same thing on that which is data and analytics are important. But they're not to be Orlando and he you know there's more to the game and that there's more penalizing players and that and -- that. And I know that from my car in Indonesia because. What I would you know looking to part of my players there -- -- understand who they are. And had a tremendous impact. On whether or not they were gonna be successful MBA. Outside of the numbers. And when the final talks about guys want to step up in big moments I think we believe -- that we know that he takes. But doesn't mean though that data analyzing numbers doesn't have a very important role to play an understanding eighteen and understanding -- players now they can improve. So I I can -- it has to be combination. I don't think you can find it NBA coach. Anywhere that's gonna say at all about the date and I'm you know I'm not gonna you know -- the -- so you know I might change is that. The communication wasn't very good. And looking forward just went forward and then continuing. Well if that is the case that you're telling us that what is the conversations behind closed doors have been much different than his public statements. If you could go look at the public Stephens Jason I mean they're out there you can go listen to him it is not exactly -- there articles written. Far and wide about Lionel Hollins assault on advanced analytics. You're right -- I go to great I read the articles I think they are spinning it -- way that's not entirely fair. Because I think it I don't like numbers. -- know we don't we talk about it. And I also think that he she knows there's a lot more to regain that. And that's yeah do we think like you were creating straw man argument to say it's all about the numbers were not about them. None of them and I don't think they are I don't think anybody's doing that Jason I mean the guy said. It over with Syria this this ticket statistical analysis. Analyst on staff last year the guys sent a line ups and Juan islands or response was this guy had the nerve to send me lineups and tell me which lineups were better than the others but does not exactly seem like. Someone that is open to -- the analytics or what they will show you. Well all I can tell you that Laura who has. I believe welcomed you know our idea is and the dialogue Wii is that this our organization with open arms. On the and that it's been very positive -- course. Okay why has his contract has not been extended he clearly has made this a media topic. Well yeah I would tell you that you know we elected this week we started now we -- door and Carter and we into our ownership. And you'll feel very good about that. General direction the -- we also critical fighting. But we -- very good about the general election routine. And I think we have to give -- a lot of credit for what this team's success and I think match. Yeah I don't think about the future and talk about the future and how to build this team going forward. He's a big part of those conversations. And a part in -- so. That's all I really can say about topic now why don't we do is become a distraction -- And I don't -- Do you think -- has do you think that these trade rumors do you think that this. Lionel Hollins and his contract extension and not knowing if he's going to be the coach going forward do you believe that that has affected the product on the court. There I don't think so at all I think it's a lot of guts being kicked up in the media. I don't control it I think he -- been quite the contrary as you said. Earlier in the show. You know all these rumors started around January 1. We went on a terrific road trip. We beat the warriors in Golden State not an easy -- we came would be dispersed. All the stuff that that you mention without air prior to that. And I think we've got a strong group of guys we've got a group got a core group of guys that have been together. But -- -- to real adversity not just kind of person would be the person taking on the Obama's seat under. Kicking on the scorers in the playoffs going to seven games against the clippers these guys are real pros and I feel I can even start spent time talking -- -- -- it. And you guys are focused someone -- that is what it. Do you think that you and that coach because people are drawing attention to yell what one analyst saying and what the front office is saying and one of those a specific instances as well finalists come out and has made it very clear that he would be against a Rudy Gay trade. Com. How does that work within those office walls where you clearly have a coach that is not necessarily. On the same page as the as the front office. Well listen I think it. You know I I respect our comment on that I -- I know that as a coach he believes some players he believes in this locker room. You know he's worked hard to build this team. In that locker room and can build a culture of success. And -- I wish there was some -- I mean you know it's. We've got a strong core group got much and we got a winning team. And it's exciting product and I get -- people in Memphis getting behind this team has been tremendous I think we can do more. I think you can get more exciting in the next 98 as we get to play almost. And I you know I just love the fact that this community rallied around this team and anger but he won't -- wrote an initiative major bump in the road less greedy. But isn't it regarding the -- Rudy stuff isn't that troubling -- -- what -- Scott Brooks would have come out after the thunder got rid of James Harden and -- I can't believe they're breaking this up or I can't believe they're thinking of breaking this up and if they're gonna break this up they need to give me an extension I mean that's that's what happened Jason. You know Chris you understand. You know. We never treated anybody you know we haven't even come close to treating anybody -- Lyle how disk any behind the players that are in this locker room he believes in them. I believe that's the right thing to do. You know we've got to keep -- focused on the prize the prize winning games. Building cohesion continuing to build cohesion and that's what -- comets are doing an actual they're meant to do I believe. And -- are making some trades he. Yeah. I got -- do you need this this this this this scene right so -- you get the -- in the NBA where. You know I can guarantee when the next ten days they're going to be 25 other. Crazy rumors that and how -- -- and limited there's good what I what I -- where -- really -- and actually solicit. Is and are we got a strong product we -- -- -- gonna rebound from this latest slide. That you would a long season and these guys know how to win. I mean is it fair to say that watching these last couple of games especially that clippers game the other -- first ever saw them in person. That you know if I. And I know you answered the contender question but if you look at that clippers team and you view them as the team that you're going to need to be able to compete with the highest level or beat the Western Conference. To need that game would have been maybe a little more persuasive towards. We've got some work to do no matter who it means we've got to move players like if we wanna be able to compete with that team. We need -- and Judy we need to add some depth -- where there's a gap between ups. -- what you just talked to Chris Wallace about this this morning you could also look at try night game against disperse. The overtime -- -- saying -- Look at our guys look at the fight. You know look at the -- this -- we have to look at the metal -- we have. And and take a different lesson from that so you don't I don't think -- can actually won game. And make a decision based on that we can do it will be 37 -- and he can say okay we're trying to where weaknesses. Where we had -- and and you can even go beyond decision because -- course been together now for several seasons and when you study at. You can you can look at trends the -- can you recognize. Is that these guys know what. Is Jason Levin he's the CEO of the Memphis Grizzlies. That is so bad right. Like ordered that justice. Would -- -- now necessary thing that's. And then I really appreciate you coming on the show and talking to -- -- fans about your thoughts on what's going on right now. Chris what do -- incidentally you're busy but I book tolkien's. Also thanks Jason apartment Jason -- -- is deep. CEO of the Memphis Grizzlies.

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