I really don't understand what's going on Memphis.
It had seemed that a full-on rebuilding effort was in progress. The Grizzlies brought in a new rookie coach, known as one of the brightest thinkers in the game. They had a group of young players to learn with him. Even trading their veteran star seemed logical enough, except for the part that involved them not getting anything back for him.
But it's really hard to see the sense in the idea of giving up on rookie coach Marc Iavaroni just because a first-year head coach had a rough year with a very young team. Rumor has it, this is exactly what may happen in Memphis. This is especially surprising given the identity of the purported successor.
From Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News:
The Memphis Grizzlies have targeted ex-Knicks coach Larry Brown to take over as head coach for Marc Iavaroni after another playoff-less finish this season.
Several NBA sources say that the Grizzlies want Brown to succeed Iavaroni, who has struggled in his first season as an NBA head coach and has come under criticism for failing to effectively communicate with players.
I never thought I would be baffled by the idea of pursuing Larry Brown to coach one's team, but that might well be the case here.
Rest assured, this is no disrespect to Brown's basketball acumen. He is one of the greatest basketball minds on the planet, and I would be happy to have the man coach my team any day, loyalty issues notwithstanding.
But if there is any major blemish on Brown's coaching record, it would be his tenure in the Sizable Apple, in which he 'led' the 2005-06 Knicks to 59 losses and was rumored to have quit on his team by mid-season. Undoubtedly, Brown was in an unenviable situation in New York -- he was given a team of creeps uninterested in defense or team basketball -- but word from those around the team that season remains that he never gave it his all in doing what he does best: teaching the game. And he has long had a rep for not being thrilled with working with young players.
All that in mind, it seems a bit weird for a team with a group of young talents who don't guard anybody to be making a push for a 67-year-old coach who has never been all that interested in working with young talents who don't guard anybody. Certainly, at this point in his career, one would imagine that Brown's primary goal is winning. That isn't going to happen with any immediacy in Memphis.
Chris Wallace's ability to boggle the minds of all observers may never cease.