Thursday, June 6, 2013

Per Report, Grizzlies Contact George Karl

Posted By on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 12:02 PM

George Karl, a potential coaching candidate for the Griz now.
  • George Karl, a potential coaching candidate for the Griz now.
An already dramatically unsettled Grizzlies coaching situation took a wild turn this morning when Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Denver Nuggets are parting ways with reigning Coach of the Year George Karl and USA Today's Sam Amick followed soon after with a report that the Grizzlies “immediately” reached out to Karl about the Grizzlies' likely to be open head coaching position. Amick notes that Grizzlies' Director of Player Personnel Stu Lash was recently in Denver with Karl and holds him in high esteem.

A few quick observations as we continue to fly through the turbulence:


*As of yesterday, Lionel Hollins was waiting to be contacted by Jason Levien for a renewal of talks between the two about Hollins' future with the Grizzlies and, from Hollins' perspective, some clarity about the “philosophical differences” that reportedly separate the two. My feeling only, but if the Grizzlies are already reaching out to Karl while Hollins awaits a follow-up discussion, then I can't imagine Hollins is back at this point.

*I'm not sure where the idea of the Grizzlies and Hollins agreeing on a two-year deal now is coming from, but it's been communicated to me, on more than one occasion now, that Hollins would not be interested in that.

*Karl is a major coaching figure who has had made the playoffs with five different franchises and has made the conference finals or better with the last three teams he's lead (Sonics, Bucks, Nuggets). On the other hand, Karl has gotten out of the first round only once in his past 11 seasons as a head coach.

*Stylistically, is Karl a good fit in Memphis? His tendency is toward deep rotations and an uptempo pace and, as presently constituted, the Grizzlies' roster is not well-equipped for that.

*Check out the Twitter feed for NBA writer Chris Tomasson, who was once based in Denver. He outlines some of the complaints about Karl in Denver, which sound very similar to some of the complaints about Hollins here.

*It was suggested to me a while back that if Hollins were to take a job with another team and the Grizzlies did not hire current lead assistant Dave Joerger, that Joerger would likely follow Hollins to his new job. Does the messiness of the past few days change that?

*The Commercial Appeal this morning adds a new name to the mix for the Grizzlies, in addition to Hollins, Joerger, and Karl: Recently let go Suns coach Alvin Gentry. Hiring Gentry would make him the second “Seven Seconds or Less” Suns assistant to helm the Grizzlies (after Marc Iavaroni).

*Is this good or bad for Hollins? If you assume, as I now do, that Hollins was unlikely to return to Memphis regardless, this works two ways: Karl is now considered a candidate for the Clippers job, giving Hollins more competition there. On the other hand, it opens up another job, and a good one. And it's already being reported that the Nuggets will reach out to Hollins. ESPN's Marc Stein has suggested that a coach swap between the Nuggets and Grizzlies is now possible.

More as it comes.

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