Wow. So . . .
Literally three hours before typing the words “Literally three hours” just now, I and TSD intern Shambreon Richardson were discussing what the coverage would be coming out of the Grizzlies end-of-season media availability. She was disappointed because she’d hoped to score an interview with Avery Bradley, who did not appear.
Anyway, I was telling her how, when covering sports, news can become VERY dated, VERY quickly. “The video we just got is getting old right now,” I explained to her. “Especially in the NBA offseason.”
Literally 10 minutes before writing the phrase “Literally 10 minutes,” Sham comes around the corner with breaking news: The Grizzlies have demoted Chris Wallace to a scouting role and fired J.B. Bickerstaff as head coach.
This, after I had literally just uploaded the 20-minute chat Bickerstaff had with media earlier in the day.
My quick reaction: I get it. You don’t have the fiasco of a season that the Grizzlies had without somebody’s head rolling – even if you end up with a happy accident of a fairly cohesive and competitive team. I particularly hate it for JB, a nice man who was dealt awful hands not one, but TWO seasons in a row.
That said, to me, the other inevitable shoe to drop will be the trade of Mike Conley. Dismissing Wallace and Bickerstaff is a clear sign that the franchise is looking to finish the detonation they started at the trade deadline. And Conley politely but explicitly said he’s not interested in hanging around for another rebuild.
And of course, the news makes my Seven Burning Questions for the Grizzlies this Offseason column obsolete. For the record, I expected that the late season surge was enough to earn both men a chance to continue to build. And that’s why they don’t pay me the big bucks.
More on all this later. But for now, simply as a display of how rapidly news can develop, here’s Bickerstaff’s final media availability as head coach of the Grizzlies.