“[The idea] came up a couple weeks ago and we gradually worked towards it,” Wallace said on The Chris Vernon Show.
Host Chris Vernon pressed Wallace about the issue, and the GM caved.
“I’m going to admit this, I’m going to come clean. I’ll be honest about it, okay? … I’m in the office of [President of Business Operations] Greg Campbell, he says, ‘You outta read this thing that’s on a blog today.’ And I don’t read the blogs, but this guy wrote this case for Gilbert Arenas, and I read the thing and said ‘Greg, you know something? This guy makes some sense.’
“I thought about it and said, you know, we gotta look into it a little further.
“So I called his agent up. I’m willing to admit it — I pride myself on being open-minded — and you look at the finances involved, and the group of players involved, and why not?”
Wallace said he didn’t even know what blog it was or who wrote the post. The honesty from Wallace gave Vernon a hearty laugh, but the GM justified the move.
“I don’t see this as a gamble. It’s a very nominal investment, and he has every incentive to make this work,” Wallace said of Arenas.
Wallace admitted he didn’t know much about Arenas and didn’t do the same kind of background investigation they would do for a draft pick because the stakes weren’t as high. He said he likes that Arenas is proven and can play both guard positions. Wallace characterized the signing as an attempt to “shoot the moon” with a player who has such a strong resume.
The expectations for Arenas are low, but Wallace believes Arenas is highly motivated to make sure this works out. Arenas’ NBA future depends on how he does in Memphis; even by just being a good role player and teammate Arenas he can become more attractive to prospective teams.
Arenas became a free agent after being released by the Magic in December via the amnesty clause. He worked out for the Lakers but never signed with them. Arenas signed with the Grizzlies this week after working out for them on Monday. He scored two points in 12 minutes after making his Grizzlies debut in a loss to Portland Thursday night.
The blog post in question is believed to be this one that appeared on the site “3 Shades of Blue.” If things work out for Gil in Memphis, he owes the writer, Lee Eric Smith, a huge thank you.
Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time a team’s front office got the idea for a transaction through a fan’s suggestion.
Photo Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-US PRESSWIRE