While most of Memphis was busy enjoying the Memorial Day weekend, the Memphis Grizzlies found themselves embroiled in one of the weirder back-and-forths in recent memory.
A front office shake-up followed by reports of head coach Dave Joerger possibly leaving after just one season led Grizzlies owner Robert Pera to engage in a Q&A session with fans on Twitter Sunday.
It began with a report by the Associated Press indicating the Minnesota Timberwolves had “zeroed in” on Joerger to be their next head coach; this after a week of front office fallout in Memphis relating to the firing of CEO Josh Levien and general manager Stu Lash.
Joerger quickly found himself on Minnesota’s radar but officially turned down the offer soon after the AP's initial report.
NBA.com's David Aldridge then weighed in with some details on Joerger's decision:
However, ESPN’s Marc Stein hinted Joerger’s move might be a clever ploy designed to get him fired from Memphis, thereby preventing what could’ve been a costly buyout for the Timberwolves.
So, Pera felt he had some explaining to do.
He took to the Twitter-sphere early Sunday evening to answer fan questions about Joerger, the state of the Grizzlies and—of course—barbecue.
Here are some of the more poignant, pressing posts from the near-hour-long exchange.
One fan immediately seized on by far the most pressing question of all:
But it wasn’t long before the conversation turned to basketball.
Pera then touched on the equally up-in-the-air general manager situation, where he recently re-hired ex-GM Chris Wallace on an interim basis:
Pera did, however, acknowledge that the team's recent turmoil will help him become more forthcoming:
As well as more engaged, something for which Pera has taken a bit of a hit:
He also lent a bit of insight into how he intends to wield small-market money for a bigger, better future:
Assuming, of course, he can get a bit more offseason commitment from some of his guys:
Pera reserved some rather heady praise for point guard Mike Conley:
Pera certainly seems confident Joerger's going to stick around for the long haul. Perhaps, then, this can all be chalked up to a case of mistaken motives, with Joerger seeing in Levien's dismissal some kind of bellwether for his own fate with the franchise.
Or, this could all be as simple as a newly minted owner finding his way in an incredibly complicated business. Indeed, if we're to believe his many tweets on this front, Pera wants Joerger—who, let's not forget, won 50 games in a very tough Western Conference and took the Grizzlies to Game 7 against Oklahoma City in this year's playoffs—to be the team's coach of the future.