Grizzlies hire Iavaroni
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – The Memphis Grizzlies officially hired
Marc Iavaroni as their new head coach on Thursday.
“Marc is going to make an immediate impact on this organization, team and city
and we are honored that he will be making his NBA head coaching debut with
Memphis,” said Grizzlies majority owner Michael Heisley. “He is highly
regarded by Jerry West as a coach with extraordinary basketball knowledge and
skill, and we look forward to having him guide the Grizzlies in our pursuit of
Iavaroni spent the last five seasons as an assistant with the Phoenix Suns.
The last 3 1/2 years he served as top assistant to Suns’ head coach Mike
D’Antoni. Considered a defensive-oriented coach, Iavaroni has served on the
staffs of Miami’s Pat Riley and former Grizzlies head coach Mike Fratello.
Fratello was fired by the Grizzlies after a 6-24 start to the season. Tony
Barone Sr. took over on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Iavaroni was a finalist for the
position with Larry Brown, who most likely would have been the next head coach
had Memphis secured one of the top two picks in the upcoming draft.
However, despite having the best chance at the top slot, the Grizzlies fell
all the way to fourth in the draft order.
“I am very excited to join an organization that is determined to do what it
takes to win,” said Iavaroni. “I look forward to developing the types of
relationships necessary to have the best shot of achieving that goal. We have
a lot of work ahead of us, but the outcome will be rewarding. I have always
enjoyed Memphis and the people are very friendly. I look forward to getting to
know the city and the fans better, and helping to fulfill their desire to have
a winning basketball organization.”
A seven-year NBA veteran from 1982-1989, Iavaroni spent time with
Philadelphia, San Antonio and Utah, including a starting role as a rookie on
the 76ers’ 1983 World Championship team.