After months of waiting, the Boston Celtics general manager is now the Grizzlies new general manager. On paper it does seem odd, turning to a guy who led the Celtics to the 2nd worst record in the league. But Jerry West didn't base his hiring on record.
'To me the people with the greatest chance of succeeding are the one's who are networked. Chris is very well respected internationally and also nationally.'
As West's hand picked replacement, Wallace isn't about to defend the last couple seasons back East, rather pointing out he lead the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2001-2002 season.
'We had the winningest team in 19 years in Boston and we did it with the 21st highest payroll.'
Wallace feels this team can win and win now.
'I am really excited about the roster Jerry has put together. There's a lot of young talent to work with. This is a team that can make a quick turnaround and be back to the playoffs overnight.'
West was upset with a local newspaper article insinuating he only hired Wallace because the two were friends and both from West Virginia. Rather, West says he hired Wallace because of an connections.
'Some of the best minds in the basketball world, people many of you don't even know, Chris knows them better than I do.'
West says he's retiring June 30th and will not stay on as a paid consultant with the Grizzlies. Wallace is excited to finally be in charge after years of playing second fiddle to Rick Pitino and Danny Ainge in Boston.