January has been an up and down month for Memphis. For every epic win against a contender there was a blowout loss to a lottery team. Perhaps it's the dog days of a long season wearing down the Grizzlies. Maybe they just weren't as good as their 12-1 start had suggested.
Nah, it's more than that.
I can't help but think that management is to blame for all of this.
Let's go back to last summer, when the front office didn't extend the contract of head coach Lionel Hollins. Few guys have done as good a job the last few years as Lionel. He changed the culture in Memphis and gave this group a badly needed identity. By comparison, Frank Vogel received a contract extension last week for bringing much the same things to Indiana.
In October, Hollins sounded confident about getting his cut. "I expect to have a deal before the season is over," he said. "For sure." But since then, a new ownership group has taken over, one that's hardly been visible.
New owner Robert Pera, who looks like he's 18, has only been to a couple of Grizzlies games since taking over late last year. Former owner Michael Heisley, meanwhile, is rumored to have purchased courtside season tickets…..awkward. By all accounts, Pera hasn't even spoken with Hollins yet……really awkward.
As a result, Lionel's tone has changed, recently: "If they want to break up the team and get rid of everybody, I'll coach until the season is over and make up my mind about what I'm going to do."
But wait, there's more.
Is management sabotaging the Grizzlies?
Grizzly Bear Blues | Jan 17