Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera on Wednesday morning spoke to the Memphis media for the first time since his introductory press conference in November. Joining him was CEO and general managing partner Jason Levien.
Pera addressed several topics including the recent trades by the team. Here’s a sampling of what he discussed:
On harming chemistry built over the last three seasons with recent trades: “I think that’s probably the most unfortunate thing about the trades were the timing of the trades. Jason and I really wished we could have got the deal closed before the beginning of the season and made all the personnel moves before the season to give these guys a full year to play together. ... If the team comes together and gels the second half of the season, I think it’s going to be real interesting.”
On interaction with coach Lionel Hollins since coming to Memphis: “I came in here this morning. We had breakfast with Lionel. Lionel is a great guy. I like him a lot. I talked with the players earlier. One of the things I like about the team, the players, all of them, are great. They seem like they all have great character and are down to earth. There’s very much a sense of team work and camaraderie. “
On Hollins' contract situation: “I think all that for now is confidential. The final decision will come down to Jason and I’ll approve whichever direction he wants to go."
On trading Rudy Gay: I was actually a big Rudy Gay fan. He was 6-9, over a 7-foot wing span with a 40-inch vertical, really smooth and athletic and on the highlights all the time. He was awesome. But like I said, going back to basketball and how it’s a team sport and all the pieces fit together, the offense we run is really traditional. It’s inside-outside, a grinding type of offense. Rudy’s talent, his potential really couldn’t be maximized in our system. I think it was good for him and I think it was good for the team. I think the pieces we got back were much stronger. I wouldn’t say the players we got back were necessarily better than Rudy. Rudy’s a special talent. But for our team and for our fit, I think the personnel and the team we have constructed now is probably the best Grizzlies team when you’re looking at the total team and chemistry and how it fits our style of play.”
Grizzlies owner Pera says Hollins' future 'confidential' matter; CEO Levien to make call
Memphis Commercial Appeal | Feb 12