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Chris Wallace, from Buckhannon, West Virginia is the general manager and vice president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

He has been in this role since June 18, 2007. His main responsibilities include free agent signings, trades and draft preparation. Before assuming that position he was the general manager of the Boston Celtics for 10 seasons and has worked in the NBA since 1986, yet unlike many of his general manager peers he has never been a player or coach in the NBA.[1]

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Starting out in NBA

Wallace was Director of Player Personnel for the Miami Heat before coming to Boston. The Heat won a franchise-record 61 games in 1996-97, and Wallace is credited with discovering many of the Heat's players. His responsibilities included college and international scouting and searching for potential talent in the Continental Basketball Association as well as the NBA. Wallace was promoted to that position after four years as a scout for the Heat.

Before joining the Heat, Wallace worked in various scouting capacities for the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks. He also worked as a draft consultant for the United States Basketball League.

In 1981, after dropping out of the University of Kansas, Wallace founded Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, an in-depth preseason guide, which he edited and published until 1996. His work on the publication helped him build a reputation as an expert in the field.

Work in Boston

Was hired by the Boston Celtics in 1997 and became general manager for the 2000-01 season. The next season, Wallace would make a trade-deadline trade with the Phoenix Suns of Joe Johnson for Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers (among others), which would help get the Celtics to their first Eastern Conference finals in over a decade. One positive of Chris Wallace's time in Boston was the draft of Paul Pierce, who in reality fell to the Celtics with the No. 10 pick. He also traded for Vin Baker who had been signed to a large contract. He has been criticized for his draft history and his free-agent signings while the Celtics' GM.

Work in Memphis

Chris Wallace was hired to replace outgoing president Jerry West for the 2007-08 season. Wallace stated in an initial press conference that his goal is to one day win a championship with this team and head coach Marc Iavaroni.[2] He was brought to work in Memphis just days before the 2007 draft, where the Grizzlies chose the promising young point guard Mike Conley Jr. with the fourth pick.

Chris Wallace was heavily criticized for trading away their young star and leading scorer, Pau Gasol, to the Los Angeles Lakers on February 1, 2008. Many fans and sports commentators believed that the Grizzlies received way too little in return in this trade (ironically one of the players they got was Pau's younger brother Marc) and just tried to reduce the salary cap of the team with expiring contracts. The move also puzzled some rivals. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was quoted by Sports Illustrated saying "What they did in Memphis is beyond comprehension. There should be a trade committee that can scratch all trades that make no sense. I just wish I had been on a trade committee that oversees NBA trades. I would have voted no to the LA trade."

Private life

A native of Buckhannon, West Virginia, Wallace and his wife Debby have one son named Truman.[1]

References

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