Skip to content

Report: Grizzlies go the expected route, promote Dave Joerger to head coach

Jun 25, 2013, 12:45 AM EDT

Dave Joerger Getty Images

Memphis built a roster that went all the way to the Western Conference Finals based on consistency and growth — they kept their core together (save for Rudy Gay) and built with those guys improving and growing together.

Which is why letting Lionel Hollins walk as a coach is a risk — he and his systems were part of that continuity.

It was also why assistant coach and defensive coordinator Dave Joerger was always the likely guy to take over as head coach — he isn’t a dramatic change for the team in terms of style. The guys know him.

And now Joerger has the job — he has been promoted to head coach in Memphis, reports Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.

What is the key difference for management between Hollins and Joerger? Willingness to listen to and work with the analytics-based front office that analytics-based teach billionaire owner Robert Pera put together. There was tension between Hollins old-school ways and the team heading into that.

That was most evident around the Rudy Gay trade — Hollins publicly ripped the move. But the Grizzlies were a clearly and measurably better offensive team after the trade (and the defense didn’t suffer) — instead of his inefficient 25 possessions a game the Grizzlies ran their offense through Marc Gasol at the elbow, more Mike Conley (who stepped up) and they used Zach Randolph more efficiently. It worked. They were better.

That tension never really went away despite the deep playoff run. The Grizzlies won 56 games and had their best season to date but it wasn’t enough for Hollins to keep his job (and he said on multiple occasions he wanted to stay).

Joerger was long the favorite for the job, but making this change is a risk. And in the West, with Russell Westbrook coming back to the Thunder and the Clippers improving their coaching, the Grizzlies have to get better, they have no margin for error. So there is a lot of pressure on Joerger and the front office now.

Latest Posts
  1. Lance Stephenson shows he’s on fire, ready for Charlotte (Instagram)

    Jul 28, 2014, 2:04 AM EDT

    Lance letting us know where his loyalties lie.

  2. Zach LaVine throws down some crazy dunks at Seattle Pro-Am (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Draft Getty Images

    The 2015 Slam Dunk Contest champion might have already been decided.

  3. Paul Millsap receives last minute invite to USA Basketball mini-camp

    Jul 27, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks - Game Six Getty Images

    Millsap gets the call as a late addition after Blake Griffin and Kevin Love dropped out in the last few days.

  4. Report: Kevin Garnett eyes post-basketball position with Nets

    Jul 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Newly acquired Brooklyn Net's NBA player Kevin Garnett listens during a news conference introducing him in Brooklyn Reuters

    KG is likely coming back for his 20th NBA season, but may be setting himself up for something more with the Nets one his playing days are finished.

  5. LeBron announces he’ll wear No. 23 with Cavaliers

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    LeBron James LeBron James

    LeBron makes yet another momentous decision.

  6. Report: Lakers won’t use stretch provision on Steve Nash

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    L.A. will keep Nash on the roster for the upcoming season, and take the cap hit for the $9.7 million remaining on his contract all at once.

  7. Rumor: NBA to open 2014-15 season with Spurs at Cavaliers

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs

    Only other possibility would have been LeBron facing the Heat, but that feels more like Christmas.

  8. Report: Lakers say ‘no done deal’ with Byron Scott

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Byron Scott

    Team downplays ESPN report that a contract has been agreed upon.

  9. Donatas Motiejunas doesn’t think Rockets should have paid Chandler Parsons James Harden money

    Jul 27, 2014, 9:29 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Would Harden have been offended if he and Parsons made similar money?

  10. Report: Lakers, Byron Scott agree to four-year, $17 million deal to coach team

    Jul 26, 2014, 11:37 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers  v Miami Heat Getty Images

    The negotiations was over years and the fourth year is a team option.

  11. Report: Several teams interested in free agent Michael Beasley

    Jul 26, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three

    Beasley is an unrestricted free agent, and some team will almost certainly take a chance on him next season.

  12. Kevin Love trade talk: He doesn’t want to opt in to deal, Cavs may live with that

    Jul 26, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Kevin Love Kevin Love

    If Kevin Love will not opt-in to the last year of his deal, would you still give up Wiggins for him?

  13. Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah swats away children’s shots (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Joakim Noah Joakim Noah

    Nobody scores on Joakim Noah, 7-year-old youth included.

  14. Paul George says his favorite rookie memory was when his coach got fired

    Jul 26, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Paul George Paul George

    Being inserted into the starting lineup might have something to do with it.

  15. Kevin Love leaving Team USA not helpful, certainly not devastating either

    Jul 26, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    US forward Kevin Durant and US forward K Getty Images

    Kevin Durant is the perfect international power forward anyway.

Featured video

Why can't Lakers have a player-coach?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. T. Warren (4361)
  2. L. James (4160)
  3. K. Love (4106)
  4. J. Nelson (3584)
  5. R. Allen (3376)
  1. C. Anthony (2908)
  2. K. Bryant (2599)
  3. D. Rose (2555)
  4. A. Wiggins (2533)
  5. A. Aminu (2045)