Grizzlies name Chris Wallace General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations
Memphis, Tennessee, June 18, 2007 — Grizzlies President of Basketball Operations Jerry West announced today that Chris Wallace has been named the team’s general manager and vice president of basketball operations.
“I am delighted that Chris accepted the offer to join the Grizzlies as vice president and general manager,” said West. “I have the utmost confidence in him and respect for him, and know he will lead this franchise to continued success and growth. He comes to Memphis with terrific credentials and an outstanding work ethic, not to mention being highly respected in the American and international basketball community. Chris will assume his duties as of today, and I look forward to advising and consulting him during the two-week transition.”
Wallace joins the Grizzlies after serving the past 10 seasons as the general manager of the Boston Celtics. A seasoned executive, Wallace was responsible for all basketball-related decisions in Boston, including free agent signings, trades and draft preparations, and will assume similar duties in Memphis.
"My family and I are honored to be selected by Mr. Heisley to work for the Grizzlies,” said Wallace.
"The Grizzlies are a team poised to make significant strides in the near future. Jerry West and his staff have put together a roster full of talented offensive players and young, exciting athletes with tremendous upside.”
"I have worked in the NBA since 1986 and have been fortunate to serve with and under some very accomplished executives like Bucky Buckwalter, Billy Cunningham, the Heat's duo of Pat Riley and Randy Pfund, Danny Ainge and the late, great Red Auerbach. Now to have the opportunity to work with Jerry West through the transition process is something that I will treasure and greatly benefit from.”
Wallace added, "Mr. Heisley and Jerry made a terrific head coaching hire in Marc Iavaroni. His background as a championship-level player and as an assistant coach working with some of the best coaches in the NBA like Mike D'Antoni and Pat Riley is impressive. 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.”
"This is a great day for the Wallace family, and we are excited to become Memphians. We are eager to begin our work on the ultimate goal of bringing an NBA championship to this very deserving city."
Wallace’s basketball knowledge extends to the collegiate world where he served on the selection committee for the Nike/ABCD and Converse ABCD national high school camps evaluating scores of future college and NBA stars. In addition, he founded the award-winning Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and in 1991 he was named one of the most influential members of the college basketball media by Sports Illustrated.
A native West Virginian, Wallace and his wife Debby have one son, Truman.
Watch the full video of the press conference (launches NBA flash player, broadband required).