Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger decided to stay with the team because owner Robert Pera sweetened the terms of his contract, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Joerger watched Pera fire two of the team’s top executives after a 50-win season and was reportedly expected to take the Minnesota Timberwolves job.
However, Pera persuaded Joerger to stay with an improved deal.
Also, the Timberwolves were reportedly reluctant to surrender significant assets for a coach that the Grizzlies apparently were ready to let go. Joerger, a Minnesota native, is close to Timberwolves president Flip Saunders and interviewed with owner Glen Taylor on Saturday.
The news that Joerger decided to stay came as a surprise given earlier reports that Joerger and the Wolves were close to a deal and the Grizzlies were interested in ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy for a president-and-coach role similar to what the Detroit Pistons gave his brother, Stan Van Gundy.
In Joerger’s first season as the head coach in Memphis, the team went 50-32 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
According to ESPN.com, it was not clear if Jeff Van Gundy wanted to take on such a large role. Van Gundy, who coached the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets before going into television, generally does not publicly discuss job openings.
The Grizzlies let coach Lionel Hollins go after advancing to the Western Conference finals last year and replaced him with Joerger. Pera ousted CEO Jason Levien assistant general manager Stu Lash last week.
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