Griz weighing options for West replacement
By Ronald Tillery
June 1, 2007
No decision has been reached as to who the Grizzlies will hire as general manager and/or team president upon Jerry West's departure at the end of June.
Griz majority owner Michael Heisley and West will travel this weekend to Scotland on a golf trip. Heisley indicated he will announce a decision sometime after his return, scheduled for the week of June 10. And while Heisley suggested that Phoenix executive David Griffin is a front-runner because of his relationship with newly signed Griz head coach Marc Iavaroni, he hasn't agreed to terms with Griffin, contrary to media reports.
A source within the Phoenix Suns organization confirmed that Griffin had not received an offer from the Griz as of Thursday, and added that the Suns would make a pitch to retain their vice president of basketball operations.
Griffin has essentially functioned in a general manager's role with the Suns. Reports out of Arizona are that former player and current broadcaster Steve Kerr will be named Suns' president of basketball operations as early as next week. The Suns gave Heisley permission to talk to Griffin, and the two talked just before the start of the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando this week.
Heisley plans to conduct at least one more interview before deciding between known candidates such as Griffin, Mark Jackson, Kiki Vandeweghe and Chris Wallace.
Former Chicago Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong also remains a person of interest for the Grizzlies.
It is believed that Griffin and Jackson -- the former NBA point guard turned television analyst -- are on equal footing as front-runners in the process.
"Marc is going to have a lot of say about who the GM will be," Heisley said of his new coach. "He's not going to decide it, but he's going to have a lot of say about it."
-- Ronald Tillery: 529-2353
Geoff Calkins contributed to this story.
Maybe Mark Jackson just wanted to go straight for the head hancho's spot.