MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Dave Joerger isn't going anywhere.
The Minnesota-born Joerger has decided to stay in Memphis and coach the Grizzlies, a day after meeting with the Minnesota Timberwolves about their head coaching vacancy, his agent told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Joerger interviewed twice with the Timberwolves over three days, including a meeting with owner Glen Taylor on Saturday evening. But Joerger returned to Memphis on Saturday night and then had several conversations with Grizzlies owner Robert Pera before ultimately deciding on Sunday to stay put.
"I think Dave is a great coach," Pera tweeted. "But, personnel has to want to be in Memphis. I know now Dave 100 (percent) wants to be here."
Pera dismissed two of the Grizzlies' top basketball executives, causing Joerger to grow concerned about his job as well. So he flew to Minnesota to discuss joining the Timberwolves before Pera convinced him to stay with the Grizzlies, who finished 50-32 and lost in seven games to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Joerger's first season as head coach.
"Minnesota did everything right," agent Warren LeGarie said. "Dave would've had no problem going there. It was just that he and owner Robert Pera were able to come to a much clearer understanding and ultimately the owner made it clear. He backed it up with words and deeds."
LeGarie would not comment specifically on any changes to Joerger's contract, which had two years remaining.
The back-and-forth seemed particularly curious knowing that the Timberwolves were reluctant to give the Grizzlies any compensation to get Joerger out of the contract. But LeGarie and a Timberwolves official, who requested anonymity because the team does not comment publicly on its coaching search, insisted that this was no power play to force Pera's hand.
"He talked directly with the owner and gained a more healthy perspective about what Dave could and couldn't do," LeGarie said.