Busted In Memphis : Grizz Owner Flips Wig On Radio

Posted in General at 1:17 pm by

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley addressed the progress or lack thereof of talks with first-rounder Xavier Henry on Memphis Fox 730 yesterday, a condescension-heavy chat with host Chris Vernon that CBS Sports’ Matt Moore described as “an abject trainwreck.” Though you really need to hear the entire thing, the portion in which Vernon grills Heisley on the latter’s familiarity with the CBA, is nothing short of squirm-city, particularly when the latter loses his shit. “I don’t understand why you’d want a college player on draft night praying he doesn’t get drafted by the Grizzlies,” sighed Vernon, though the same question could be applied to any future free agents taking note of the Memphis owner’s tone and temper. The Memphis Flyer’s Chris Herrington finds the entire episode disheartening (“It seems like Heisley thinks his bluster is charming ” or maybe he just doesn’t think about it at all”), in slight contrast to his colleagues at the Commerical-Appeal, who had nothing to say on the matter whatsoever.

Intimate knowledge of the collective bargaining agreement may not be a prerequisite for NBA owners, since, typically, general managers and other executives are charged with that. But the problem here, again, is that Heisley has appointed himself the de facto president of basketball ops. Owners always have the final say on major decisions, but this has become something a little different from that norm. And if Heisley is going to be directly driving much of the day-to-day operation of the team (down to something as ostensibly minor as negotiating rookie contracts) then it is not okay that he knows less about the contents of the CBA ” essentially the league’s team-building rule book ” than I do. Have I read the CBA? No. But I’ve read pretty much all of Larry Coon’s essential CBA FAQ. Many who cover the NBA and even many fans of the sport appear to have a broader working knowledge of the league’s rules than the primary decision maker of the Memphis Grizzlies. Make you feel good, Grizzlies fans?

3 Responses to “Busted In Memphis : Grizz Owner Flips Wig On Radio”

  1. Mike says:

    when I saw the heading all I could say is OMG…. thsi wont be good. Nothing ever comes good when Mr Heisly is in teh news… Im a Grizz fan and hope they dont leave but I wish I could jkust buy the team from teh guy and give it to someone that actually cared or heck I could probably do a better job than him. I just hope that we have a good season this year. Winning a playoff game would be a step in teh right direction, you know…. if we can get there.

  2. grinman says:

    i stumbled onto this interview the other day coming home and i parked my car, turned off the engine and just sat there. i couldnt go in my house, i couldnt turn off my cars radio. it makes me almost happy to say that we have the nba’s al davis in memphis, like its a sideshow attraction to what is supposed to be a team trying to win the western conference, listening to this interview made me think about how its such an uphill battle for small market teams competing in these talent rich sports leagues, and how management can do everything right and your title hopes may literally never see the light of day, its another thing when your team is essentially being sabotaged by a crazy person. when i heard about henry’s contract i was like what.

  3. Greg says:

    Interesting discussion to say the least. I have to believe if I was the owner I would definitely like to have a way to give a player the incentive for more money based on his contribution to the team. I think in any line of work a guarantee in salary can lead to doing the minimum to earn that salary. Mr Heisley is trying to run a business and have his players earn their money, not just be entitled to it. I would imagine players cannot stand someone who gets a big payday and then doesn’t give the effort to get better on a daily basis and bust it to win at all costs. I think the player performance in a contract year seems to be a bit more intense than non-contract years. I also did not agree with the Pau trade but Mr Heisley was honorable in trading Pau to a place he could win after Pau tried as hard as he was able here in Memphis and producing for Mr. Heisley every year. Unfortunately Pau was just not able or ready to be “the man” that could carry a team on the court, in the public, and in the locker room. If players cannot see Mr. Heisley rewards them for coming to Memphis and busting their butts win or lose, they need to look at what he has done for Pau and Rudy for their years of performance/service on a small market team. I think the media is making a villain out of the man, when the media is not dealing out all the money to run an entire organization. I think Mr. Heisley is trying to be smart with his money unlike New York and some other places. I do not think he is responsible to pay enough to Xavier so that he can in turn pay his agent the extra percentage. Maybe Xavier should find a younger hungrier agent who will take less money to do the same job as Tellum. Seems to me Chris should be promoting the Grizzlies right to do exactly as they are. Instead of jumping on the national bandwagon to bash the only pro team in his hometown. Hope to hear more soon it was very informative.

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