Apparently, after being interested in George Karl, Ed Pickney, Brian Shaw and especially Alvin Gentry to fill the vacant coaching seat left by Lionel Hollins, the Grizzlies have decided on their number one option all along: defensive assistant coach and wunderkind, Dave Joerger.
Reports ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz:
About to file to ESPN. Dave Joerger to be named Memphis head coach.
— Kevin Arnovitz (@kevinarnovitz) June 25, 2013
The choice is no surprise, though certainly Joerger’s name had lagged a bit in discussions since the Alvin Gentry meeting and the failure for anyone to hire Brian Shaw. Nonetheless, he was always the favorite, and it seems he’s finally snagged the spot. At the very least, Grizzlies fans can calm down and let the dust settle.
It is, however, unclear what remain when the dust has actually cleared. By all reports, Joerger is a defensive mastermind worthy of his reputation, but next season it’ll be up to him to prove his worth. Essentially, he’s untested ground, new territory, and no one knows for sure how he’ll perform one way or another.
It is a good sign — perhaps — that Joerger has been a fundamental piece of this Grizzlies team the last few years, which would seem to imply an understanding of the culture and the way the team needs to be run in order to succeed. Similarly, his selection seems to imply that he would be willing to work with the front office the way they want to be worked with.
Ultimately, how he’s viewed (and how the debacle as a whole will be viewed) will come down to how well the team does under Joerger’s tutelage, independent of whether or not that success or failure is a function of Joerger’s influence. He’s is such an untested gamble, and there’s such little information to predict a future off of, that we’re limited to the future as our basis for judging his importance.
I hope, for all of our sakes, but for Joerger’s in particular, that the future is bright.