Memphis Grizzlies Controlling Owner Robert Pera announced today that Chris Wallace has been named General Manager of the Memphis Grizzlies and has signed a multi-year contract extension to remain with the organization. Wallace had acted as interim general manager since May 19, 2014.
“We are very pleased to announce Chris Wallace as our general manager,” Pera said. “Chris has been at the forefront and a stable presence throughout some of the Grizzlies’ greatest successes. His strong bonds and experience, not only within the organization and NBA but also within the Memphis and Mid-South communities, make him the ideal fit to lead our basketball operations. We believe Chris’ skills and expertise to be vital in our continued success of our franchise.”
Wallace joined the Grizzlies as general manager and vice president of basketball operations on June 18, 2007 and assembled much of the talent that has helped guide the franchise to a club-record four consecutive playoff appearances. Notably, Wallace drafted the franchise career leader in assists, steals and games played Mike Conley, he acquired two-time NBA All-Star (2009, 2012) Zach Randolph and 2012-13 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol through trades and signed three-time NBA All-Defense member (2010-13) Tony Allen in free agency.
Through Wallace’s acquisitions, the Grizzlies have experienced unprecedented success, earning their first seven postseason wins and first postseason series victory against the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in 2011, hosting a postseason series for the first time in 2012, and setting a club record for wins (56) and advancing to the Western Conference Finals in 2013.
As interim general manager this offseason, Wallace helped sign former All-Star Vince Carter in free agency and acquired rookies Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes in the 2014 NBA Draft.
“I am honored to remain in Memphis. I love the city and the community,” Wallace said. “Robert Pera is strongly committed to the success of the Grizzlies, and I am excited to continue working in tandem with Robert, our front office and our coaching staff in helping realize his vision for the franchise.”
Wallace has served seven NBA franchises in his career and has worked with five former NBA Executive of the Year winners, including Red Auerbach, Danny Ainge, Bucky Buckwalter, Geoff Petrie and Jerry West. In addition, he has worked alongside Basketball Hall of Fame members Billy Cunningham and Pat Riley.
Prior to joining the Grizzlies, Wallace spent 10 seasons as general manager of the Boston Celtics (1997-2007) and four seasons as a scout with the Miami Heat (1993-97), where he was promoted to director of player personnel in his final season. Wallace worked in various scouting capacities for the New York Knicks (1991-92), Los Angeles Clippers (1990-91), Denver Nuggets (1989-90) and Portland Trail Blazers (1986-89).
An avid basketball fan before being hired into the NBA, Wallace founded the award-winning Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook in 1981. He was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the most influential members of the college basketball media in 1991. He is a member of the Board of Directors at the Touchdown Club of Memphis.