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ESPN 92.9FM>Audio on Demand>>Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien explains the Hollins decision on The Eric Hasseltine Show - 06/11/13

Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien explains the Hollins decision on The Eric Hasseltine Show - 06/11/13

Jun 11, 2013|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Out credited today's Q&A today as a -- CEO it's Jason Riley and now it's time for the lenders -- 929 FM ESPN's Eric -- tonight show Q and -- of the day. Jason what's happening. You do and Erica I'm gonna quite a few days form. Yeah I'm sure has I'm sure it's been very very -- -- not much. Not much going on but today we know we kid and we jest and that tell us what the scenario was and how this all played itself out to the decision that was made yesterday. Old personal Erica you know -- Trevor neon like you might think it's important for our organization. For our ownership group which still relatively new. And management I'll bet that -- beach street course and street to our community and in the good times in the great times that we had. And also when the difficult times we -- for the decisions that we made so yeah I felt it was important guilt from the -- had to be on the show talk about. A difficult decision and certainly made that culminated yesterday the decision that you're gonna move and a different direction. In terms of our head coach. You make that decision before the contract is officially up was this. And what you deemed as a group the best move for both sides for to be able to move forward for you guys and they also give -- a chance to. Move forward in his coaching career was that them the basis of what went down. I mean certainly I'm charged with doing what is best for the organization. And it tiny nearly. I think especially organization I also believe that true Lional. You know not to -- this out there we scheduled you know July 1 -- -- -- contract expired put. -- giving him the opportunity which we did very. Quickly. You know after. These sorts of discussions with this represented his two and talk to other teams in bringing him up to two she -- opportunities. Armed and I know those talks are Rondo. You obviously have heard a lot of the people being critical when you've talked to fans what has been your message to them. As to why this decision was ultimately what you deemed best for the team. I think first of all thank I thank them for their passions. We had an amazing season. You know as an organization. And as a community -- such an exciting. Came to watch our fit and our community rallied around this team. And you know that the organization is bigger than one person certainly bigger than me -- -- any of our individuals and players or coaches. And human messages first thank them for their passion and I think you understand that. From far away. Up from watching -- -- and you know it could be at scratch we had a terrific season. We had the best seat in the franchise history and got a great group of players we've got a terrific organization. And we have a coaching there did a great job. And so I do understand. That they treat possible. What I want him to know. Is that we need this decision without. It and unemotional way in systematic way. We went through very -- process. Speaking to people involved in your organization. Talking amongst. The community people who wanted to lean on him and think to screw it but ultimately you don't our focus. Is to have. The premier NBA achieved. And we wanna have just seen the screens as sustained success that goes even further and we went this year for years to come as an opportunity. And we felt that organization. -- Change was difficult. And added that it was to make. What is the right one for us if we can sustain the level of Jewish immigrants who desperately organization that we want to we want struck. How big of a roll of the dice so to speak is this -- started to take this chance because if it. If it doesn't end up with a lot of wins people are gonna become extremely critical I think you understand that. Absolutely and you know yes and I got I went on I'd leave your show several months ago. And that question we're asked we -- leading scorer and our highest paid player. And you know all I can do is dig in deeply. Are -- seeking these decisions guru. Really get the best information possible. And end -- wouldn't unemotional way. Tesoro way I can make a decision that we -- especially organization. Knowing powerful PCs are winning. It's some sort of in this communities are -- DC crowd. And kicking these organizations the next level and we went to Rudy Gay. Decision that was tough. I mean that was 'cause we were you I didn't. In that -- working with this organization for ninety days. And -- I spent many many hours with -- our leadership team thinking about that. And Edwards says if it doesn't work if you guys lose in the first -- that yardstick if you make a playoff right you know how we get a feel about that and I said well. Could get a feel like we do the best we -- in the process that we had we gave ourselves the best opportunity to have success. And so what we'll tell you here are in in making this decision. Certainly the stakes are just as hard if not -- and you know that -- it was a big consideration in making a move that -- If we only bold decisions. We -- make decisions that once we have all the factors. I can't really think in true only believe they're right we don't stand up what we believe in light of what's gonna take this to the next level. I don't we don't deserve to be trolls because we've got a guy disorganization to greatness and that sometimes means making tough decisions. You know. With that said and I am glad you brought that up because it's different in a smaller market is you and the group I'm sure finding out then you know what the playing rules are for. The rules of the same but that the finances can be very dramatically different than. How important is it suit to stay that course like you just talked about an instinct to preach the message of -- stay patient to the fans because. Like you brought up the Rudy Gay -- a lot of people that -- ready to jump off ship and all this is it going to be a playoff team and yadda yadda yadda but this isn't just hey we're gonna make one move and see what happens and it works great if not this is part of lieu of a big plant right. It's part of a plan it's part of a strategy trying to think civil moved ahead on the chessboard. We don't want your competitors -- -- the other teams. And and it's important for me and for his -- torture issue relate to our fans that we had a -- Because that's what we're focused now we want to win basketball games and we wanna continue to win basketball games it had great success and we had a lot of success here. Arm but we believe we can have more going forward. We believe we can improve disorganization. We got some great people working here I mean just some dedicated folks we've got obviously there's a basketball CD -- -- obesity really unique. I'll and the passion are in past. The way this community came together the last market too little playoffs. You blew me away. And and so we want more of that. And we want more Mays likely had this year and hopefully -- -- as well and that's that's what I'm pro stock and and -- and do everything in my power to make -- a reality. Talking -- Jason -- CEO of the Memphis Grizzlies here and discuss that that the financial. Minefield so to speak at a small market team has to go through we we looked at the numbers in the grizzlies had a 92% capacity rating and a small market. They were ahead of teams like Indiana Milwaukee. And Atlanta who were all playoff teams yet still everybody's looking -- and we don't sell out every game everybody's wondering wire what's this what's not how difficult is it. To really reach those those higher lost your numbers and and to get to that point when a team has struggled in the past and maybe still has some people that don't believe in. Winning those people's trust you to spend their entertainment dollar with the. Well let it got a lot of work you're right it is continuing to gain more more people trust and their support. -- we aren't small market you're right. But -- we need to invest within this team in this que -- we believe we can be -- -- good decision on our coach. We're not a player decision whatsoever we've got to get the best coach in other gonna give us the best opportunity persisting excess. We want us to develop our players our bit to the best way to we can. We want to grow the franchise. And and and wanna be a leaking so certainly you have to be mindful of salary cap the economics. But but but also you know focused on the real pride which is to be a real one. Talk when Jason Evans the -- and CEO of the Memphis Grizzlies. How much. Hey -- for a -- I should say how far along are you in the process of naming a new head coach is this something. It's going to happen sooner rather than later is this something that you plan on taking as much time as you feel like he needs is to make the right decision moving forward. I would vote I would really -- sooner rather than later at all so much time as we need you know I think it. He could occasion that we can't be -- about just like we weren't -- about making the change. Comment on with the head coach. And we're gonna dig -- and and quickly. We've got a lot of big efficient could -- we got the draft coming up but a couple of weeks we've got free agency starting. Yeah mark. And we've got to got to be very thoughtful about this. And also moved quickly choke. How far along are we I would say week we certainly I -- current thinking about it we wanna spend more we wanna talk to -- push more people in the world. About basketball. A much more -- -- Because what I do. Announce who the coach is gonna be able to I think organization get eye -- person. We want to know we left no stone unturned and that we have the person who we think can really -- we are going oh. Talking with Jason -- here. On the program and you know obviously names are gonna start to get thrown around in. The aviators names come up source -- names come up. How difficult -- process is this because when this goes down and I'm curious and I hope this doesn't put on spot -- when this goes down and if you're coaching candidate you're looking around on. The guy just had 156 games I'm not sure if this is exactly where I wanna step into what do you say to a coaching -- them might bring that up. And I I'm gonna say that the bar is very there's no question did but it is an amazing coaching opportunity for -- packed and stepped in to a city like -- We didn't quit attacking the kind of players we have -- oneself crucial wanna win so badly bring that grit and grind attitude every night. -- to a community that can rally behind the team the -- this community rallied behind team it's a very unique. And I think it was very attractive situation. And and -- you a -- policing act because those. You know the best and the brightest coaching mind we think they're out there as you know we believe look at expressed interest or will express interest -- -- we've got to sort through them and we certainly I would say the bar higher complete. We we're expecting success. We're gonna work we did find that person out and personality kind of sad that we want to have an organization. For you personally you've been on all sides of this you've been an agent you've -- with other teams in. Front offices how much have you learned since you've got here to where you are today. In terms of doing your job on a day to day basis and how is it made you a better CEO for this organization. I think we have learned a lot I think I'm constantly learning. And and this process I just entry into this season has been a learning experience for me and trying to get better. You know what I am trying to learn certain principles about Ichiro and being thoughtful and keeping the focus on what's best for -- organization. Two women win because -- barely. And I'm sure you make this day. And number -- my best not to I I I can power and they don't get it -- thinks it would carefully possible. I'm gonna talk to people who I respect the most who who know a lot about this community -- know a lot about basketball in the NBA and how to succeed in basketball. We're gonna study from the that's gonna try to do the things that are best practices and ball from other teams. -- have done it well and not just sports teams both organizations and businesses -- a great suggestion I got a haircut really fortunate because. The group of owners that we put together are the kind of people that I it will probably not true advice that has been tremendous in their screens and business -- screens. In building this situation Memphis and beyond and this. Com has been invaluable and and I -- heavily on them and I'm really in their debt. -- Jason Levin here before I let you go. Obviously. Now within the coaching search underway these free agent markets get open very soon as well. Tony Allen out imagine a top priority what else will you guys be in the market for. When it comes July 1 and players are free to talk to other teams. What we've got a lot of scenarios on the board were plotting -- -- very carefully for that I would want to get better you know we we certainly think do we can get better from within. We think our team can improve and we have we also think that we can add. -- -- -- actually to a roster they'll give us more fire -- certainly be on the offensive end we wanna have some improvement. Up from where we finish last year -- how we do that how we put all the pieces together Catholic kind of chemistry you know the decision earlier this season. You know about treating our Kirby scored the Middle Eastern. What we already have a winning record a lot of that was about chemistry. Opted to chemistry about figuring out how to cut the ball would move better and making the extra pass. And Morgan I think that Drupal also looked -- -- find -- to applicable law or more consistent. So you know their overriding factors at play. But I can assure you that that were hard at work at at taking us through and making sure we're prepared. Jason Levin joining us here on the program I know it's been a busy day a busy couple days before I let you go. Yeah I guess this is your chance to Elvis fans why do why this is why this is moving in the right direction in your eyes. Well I think we had a lot of success this year was a great year we wanted to -- we wanna go further or improve. And I think that you know having. I -- a new coach a new head coach. What is gonna help us do that as an organization. You know I won't we want to have a carnival games this year where we get. People in a room court prepared quite. The opinion speaking -- disagreed. I know what to what we should do what the direction should be what the personnel -- should be I want that disagreement we -- what you don't really digging in. And get messy while we were in that room talking about what the decision direction should be for for example per person double. And then once we come to a decision and whatever that decision is we wanna walk out of the room. On the normal locked together in how we're gonna proceed and the organization public that way to get work. And and we're gonna go out and face -- adversary that we together and aren't we believe that. Getting the right head coaching here are working with our personnel folks working with our organization. Our -- have great pictures. Appreciate the time thanks so much for stopping by no by -- like -- said it's been a busy couple of days we certainly appreciate your your thoughts on us. -- greater thanks Jason Jason Levin CEO of the Memphis Grizzlies there -- -- it right there.

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