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Volume 26 No. 25
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Grizzlies Hire Analytics-Minded Taylor Jenkins As Next Coach

Jenkins is the fifth coach under current ownership and the first hire by the revamped front office
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Grizzlies hired Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins as their new coach, and he is "regarded as a sharp basketball mind and relentless worker" who has "embraced analytics," according to David Cobb of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Of the 30 NBA head coaches, only the T'Wolves' Ryan Saunders, 33, is younger than Jenkins, who is 34. The Grizzlies have "positioned Jenkins to be involved in several key decisions to be made over the coming weeks" ahead of the NBA Draft next Thursday. Jenkins becomes the franchise's fifth head coach since Controlling Owner Robert Pera acquired the team in '12, and the "first hired under a revamped front office" led by Exec VP/Basketball Operations Zach Kleiman (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/12).

LIKE-MINDED HIRE: In Memphis, Mark Giannotto writes this hire is "another defining moment" for Pera, and the "first for his new front office." At first glance, the hire "makes sense." Jenkins has a degree from Penn's Wharton School of Business, while Kleiman has a Duke law degree, President Jason Wexler has a Columbia law degree, VP/Basketball Strategy Rich Cho has a law degree and once worked as an engineer at Boeing, and Senior Adviser Glen Grunwald has a Northwestern law degree. The Grizzlies "suddenly seem like the nerdiest team in the NBA." Giannotto: "Is it too nerdy, and too devoid of basketball lifers, with a young owner, the NBA's second-youngest coach and a lead basketball executive who's even younger? That's to be determined." Regardless, it is "certainly not traditional" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/12). Also in Memphis, Geoff Calkins wrote in hiring Jenkins, the Grizzlies' front office "picked someone who looked just like them" (DAILYMEMPHIAN.com, 6/11). The DAILY MEMPHIAN's Chris Herrington wrote this is an "attempt to build something that can grow together" (DAILYMEMPHIAN.com, 6/11).