MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -The Memphis Grizzlies hired Chris Wallace on Monday to replace Jerry West as their general manager and vice president of basketball operations.
Wallace, the former general manager of the Boston Celtics, will join new coach Marc Iavaroni in helping Memphis rebuild after finishing with the worst record in the league last season. West, who also had the title of president of basketball operations, announced in April he would not return when his contract expires June 30.
West introduced Wallace at a news conference.
``I have the utmost confidence in him and respect for him, and know he will lead this franchise to continued success and growth,'' West said. ``He comes to Memphis with terrific credentials and an outstanding work ethic.''
The hiring allows Wallace to be on hand for the NBA draft on June 28, when the Grizzlies select fourth. Memphis went 22-60 after three straight playoff berths but fell in the NBA lottery last month to the lowest possible selection.
Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley had interviewed David Griffin, Kiki Vandeweghe, John Nash and even former NBA point guard and current TV analyst Mark Johnson for the general manager job. But Griffin, who worked with Iavaroni in Phoenix, withdrew his name to stay with the Suns.
Wallace called the hiring of Iavaroni a terrific move based on his experience as a player and assistant coach working with Mike D'Antoni of Phoenix and Pat Riley.
``I also like the fact that Marc has worked for coaches with expertise on both the offensive and defensive sides of the game, and that broad experience will pay dividends for the Grizzlies,'' Wallace said.
Wallace had been with Boston since 1997, the last 10 seasons as general manager. He had a year left on his contract with the Celtics, who went 24-58. Wallace also worked as director of player personnel for the Miami Heat, including the 1996-97 season, when the Heat won a team-record 61 games.
A native of West Virginia, Wallace also has worked for Portland, Denver, Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks. He was a draft consultant for the United States Basketball League.
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