Grizzlies announce multi-year contract extensions for Chris Wallace, John Hollinger and Ed Stefanski
Memphis Grizzlies Controlling Owner Robert Pera announced today that General Manager Chris Wallace, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Hollinger and Executive Vice President of Player Personnel Ed Stefanski have been signed to multi-year extensions with the organization. Per team policy, terms of the extensions will not be disclosed.
“I am pleased to announce that our Basketball Operations executive team, led by General Manager, Chris Wallace, will continue to lead our franchise for years to come,” Pera said. “Chris, John and Ed bring a wealth of NBA experience and success, and have done a tremendous job establishing the strong culture that I believe is necessary to ensure sustained success in this ultra-competitive environment. More importantly, I am confident that the toughness, resilience, discipline and unselfishness that are embedded in the fabric of our culture will continue to serve as a point of pride for Memphis, the surrounding region and all Grizzlies fans.”
Chris Wallace, General Manager:
Wallace joined the Grizzlies as general manager and vice president of basketball operations on June 18, 2007 and assembled much of the talent that has helped guide the franchise to a club-record six consecutive playoff appearances. Through trades, free agency and the draft, Wallace established a core that includes: the franchise leader in assists, steals and games played Mike Conley; 2014-15 All-NBA First Team center and 2012-13 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol; two-time NBA All-Star (2009, 2012) Zach Randolph; five-time NBA All-Defense mainstay Tony Allen and highly coveted free agent Chandler Parsons.
The culture established in Memphis during Wallace’s tenure has been a major factor in the signing and retention of the Grizzlies’ core players over several different off-seasons. The result of such stability has been the organization’s sustained success over the course of Wallace’s long tenure. The Grizzlies have recorded six consecutive winning seasons (compared to just three in the franchise’s first 15 years of existence), and their 60.9 winning percentage during the regular season is the seventh-best in the NBA over that span. The team has made six straight trips to the NBA Playoffs, the third-longest active streak in the league, and advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2013 after setting a club record for regular season wins (56) that year. Wallace’s roster construction led to the Grizzlies’ first 27 postseason victories; the franchise had never won a playoff game in its 12 seasons before his hiring.
Wallace has served seven NBA franchises in his career and has worked with five former NBA Executive of the Year winners, including Red Auerbach, Danny Ainge, Bucky Buckwalter, Geoff Petrie and Jerry West. In addition, he has worked alongside Basketball Hall of Fame members Billy Cunningham and Pat Riley.
Prior to joining the Grizzlies, Wallace spent 10 seasons as general manager of the Boston Celtics (1997-2007) and four seasons as a scout with the Miami Heat (1993-97), where he was promoted to director of player personnel in his final season. Wallace worked in various scouting capacities for the New York Knicks (1991-92), Los Angeles Clippers (1990-91), Denver Nuggets (1989-90) and Portland Trail Blazers (1986-89).
Wallace, an avid basketball fan before breaking into the NBA, got his start in basketball in 1981 when he founded the award-winning Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Sports Illustrated named Wallace as one of the most inﬂuential members of the college basketball media in 1991. He has also served as an expert witness in basketball-related litigation and is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Touchdown Club of Memphis and Catholic Charities of West Tennessee.
John Hollinger, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations:
Hollinger joined the organization as vice president of basketball operations on Dec. 13, 2012. Best known for his work at the forefront of basketball's analytics movement, Hollinger holds a prominent role in more traditional basketball functions such as scouting and medical support, while his analytics background is vital in analyzing personnel decisions such as trades, draft, free agency and salary cap management. In addition, Hollinger oversees the Grizzlies’ analytics infrastructure and international scouting.
Before coming to the Grizzlies, Hollinger was an NBA columnist for ESPN.com for eight years. His daily "PER Diem" column was a mainstay of their coverage, while analytic tools he developed became key elements of the site. In particular, Hollinger is the inventor of Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and developed several other statistics that are now in wide use today, including Rebound Rate, Usage Rate, Offensive Efficiency, Defensive Efficiency, Pace Factor, Pure Point Rating, Game Score, and Estimated Wins. He was among the first to use analytics to forecast player performance and analyze draft prospects.
Before joining ESPN, Hollinger covered the NBA for SI.com, Oregonlive.com and The New York Sun. He also authored four annual editions of the Pro Basketball Forecast. He first gained notoriety as the creator of Alleyoop.com, a website devoted to basketball analytics. Hollinger is a native of New Jersey, where he played on his high school basketball team, and graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Economics and Environmental Science.
Ed Stefanski, Executive Vice President of Player Personnel:
Stefanski joined the Grizzlies as executive vice president of player personnel on July 30, 2014, bringing to Memphis his well-earned reputation league-wide as an excellent evaluator of talent following management positions at the highest levels with the New Jersey Nets (1999-2007), Philadelphia 76ers (2007-11) and Toronto Raptors (2011-13).
Before coming to Memphis, Stefanski served two seasons (2011-13) as executive vice president of basketball operations with the Raptors and four seasons (2007-11) as president and general manager of the 76ers, reshaping both franchises through trade acquisitions and key draft picks that would eventually guide both clubs back to the NBA Playoffs.
Prior to joining Philadelphia, Stefanski served nine seasons (1998-2007) with the New Jersey Nets where he oversaw the team’s basketball operations and was heavily involved in the team’s roster development and player personnel matters. He was promoted to general manager in 2004 following a one-year term as senior vice president of basketball operations and four seasons as director of scouting. Stefanski was instrumental in the New Jersey’s back-to-back Eastern Conference Championship teams in 2002 and 2003 after the team drafted Kenyon Martin with the top overall selection in the 2000 NBA Draft and acquired Richard Jefferson and Jason Collins from Houston in a 2001 draft night deal. Stefanski acquired multiple All-Star and current Grizzlies wing Vince Carter from Toronto in 2004.
A 1976 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business), Stefanski played three seasons for Penn, where he was coached by Hall of Famer Chuck Daly. He was a member of two Ivy League Champions (1974 and 1975) and helped the Quakers reach the NCAA Tournament in both of those seasons. Stefanski was drafted by Philadelphia in the 10th round of the 1976 NBA Draft.