On paper, the Grizzlies look good. They are coming off a second straight 50-win season and are just one year removed from a trip to the Western Conference finals. They have the NBA's most enviable front court combination in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol and an underrated point guard in Mike Conley who gets better every year. They have a basketball-crazed owner in Robert Pera with deep pockets and a willingness to dig into them.

Sounds great, right? Well...

In truth, the Grizzlies are a mess. They have a coach, Dave Joerger, who wanted to be the coach, then didn't want to be the coach, then wanted to coach Minnesota, then, on Sunday, decided to come back and coach Memphis. They have an owner that hired Joerger, then wanted to fire him, then let him interview with Minnesota, then welcomed him back. They have no CEO, no assistant general manager and the front office is being run by a GM, Chris Wallace, who has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the team for more than a year.

You got all that?

The genesis of the Joerger-Pera problems, according to league sources, dates back to last September. Pera -- who fancies himself a pretty good player -- challenged Tony Allen to a game of one-on-one. Allen, on Twitter, accepted. Pera, a Silicon Valley billionaire who bought a small controlling interest in the Grizzlies in 2012, poured tens of thousands of dollars into producing the matchup. He invited the media and instructed the public relations staff to issue a press release promoting the event.

The problem? Allen had lost interest. Joerger, a first-year head coach, didn't like the idea of the game -- like many in the organization he found it goofy and unbecoming of a professional team, according to sources -- but it was Allen's indifference that caused it to be called off. Yet Pera directed his frustration at Joerger and, according to a source, directed upper management to fire him.

Said a source familiar with the situation, "He absolutely wanted Dave out."

It was the first of several early season clashes between Joerger and Pera. When the Grizzlies opened the season 2-3 -- including double-digit defeats to Dallas and New Orleans -- Pera flew to Memphis and held individual meetings with players, sources say. He began offering bizarre suggestions. He suggested Mike Miller, a longtime Grizzlies player who was re-signed in the offseason, could become a player-coach. He brought up the idea that Joerger could wear an NFL-style headset and take instructions on the sideline. When the Grizzlies faced Golden State in early November, Pera insisted that Joerger give significant minutes to fourth-year power forward Ed Davis. Davis played just one. Again, according to sources, Pera insisted that Joerger had to go. Only after it was explained how dysfunctional the franchise would look if it fired a first year head coach six games into the season did Pera back down.