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NBA: Grizzlies’ Joerger turns down Wolves

Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger reacts to a call during the NBA playoffs against the Thunder on April 26 in Memphis, Tenn. (Nelson Chenault / USA TODAY Sports)

Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger, after receiving permission to interview for the Minnesota Timberwolves job, is staying in Memphis, according to multiple reports Sunday.

Joerger watched Grizzlies owner Robert Pera fire two of the team’s top executives after a 50-win season. But according to, Pera spoke with Joerger over the past two days and persuaded him to stay.

The Timberwolves reportedly were 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 latest news comes 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, 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.