SBD/Issue 219/Franchises

Grizzlies Let Go Of Scouts; Is Team Too Bottom-Line Focused?

Heisley (l), Wallace Catching Heat Over Team's
Decision To Let Go Its Full-Time Scouts
The Grizzlies recently "decided to let go" of all their scouts after employing five full-time scouts last season, according to Geoff Calkins of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. The Grizzlies this season will “use a part-time scout to help them keep [an] eye on players in Europe,” but they “do not plan to make any hires.” Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace said, “We had a restructuring. … I prefer a smaller group.” Calkins wrote it is "hard not to look at this move as additional evidence that the Grizzlies care less about basketball than the bottom line." Calkins: "No scouts? For a team that has said it is committed to building through the draft?" How do fans "resist the conclusion" that Grizzlies Owner Michael Heisley "has settled on a strategy that values dollars over wins?" Heisley “can’t sell the franchise so he’ll run it as cheaply as possible” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/2). At presstime, the article had elicited 55 responses online. One commenter wrote, “Isn’t the NBA interested in what Heisley is doing to destroy the franchise?” Another wrote, “Nashville’s calling” (COMMERCIALAPPEAL.com, 8/2). DIME MAGAZINE writes this is a "total cost-cutting move," though it is "not totally indefensible since Wallace and the coaches can scout college guys" (DIMEMAG.com, 8/3). FANHOUSE.com's Tom Ziller wrote the Grizzlies' move is an "unbelievable concession, even in this economy." Ziller: "The Bobcats declining to assemble a summer league squad -- that's unnerving. A team like the Grizzlies decided to detonate the entire scouting staff with the playoffs nowhere in sight? That's abominable" (FANHOUSE.com, 8/2).

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