The Memphis Grizzlies today announced Grizzlies Director of Basketball Operations Chris Makris as General Manager of Memphis’ NBA Development League (NBA D-League) expansion team and named Glynn Cyprien Head Coach of the NBA D-League franchise, which will begin play in the 2017-18 season.
“We are excited to announce Chris Makris’ expanded role within our organization and to announce Glynn Cyprien as the first head coach of our NBA D-League franchise in Southaven,” Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace said. “Chris experienced great success during his nine years as general manager of the Iowa Energy, including the three seasons we partnered with the franchise, while Coach Cyprien brings a passion for player development and played a pivotal role in the growth of our young players as interim head coach for Iowa last season. Both understand the strong culture within our franchise, and we are confident they will continue their outstanding work for our D-League expansion team.”
In celebration of the Grizzlies’ new NBA D-League team, the team will host a fan event at Tanger Outlets in Southaven, Miss. from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, June 2. On Friday at Tanger Outlets, all fans that sign-up for D-League e-news will receive team sunglasses and headbands plus have the chance to win tickets to Opening Night this fall. Pop-up performances will be held throughout the outlet mall, including performances on the main stage every 20 minutes.
On the heels of the Tanger Outlet event, the Grizzlies will host a D-League Fan Fest Saturday, June 3 at Landers Center from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. where the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a free T-shirt. Parking is free and all fans can enjoy complimentary popcorn. The event will feature a full lineup of Grizzlies entertainment teams, including Grizzline, Claw Crew and more fan favorites. Fans can also expect several activities, including a kids’ zone, face painting, balloon artist and photo booth. A free Grizzlies Youth Basketball clinic will be held for 60 boys and girls, ages 7-14, from 11 a.m.-noon. Those who wish to participate in the clinic must pre-register at www.grizzlies.com/youthbasketball. In addition to multiple programs, activities and giveaways, fans will be joined by Makris, Cyprien and Grizzlies players Andrew Harrison and Wayne Selden Jr. for autographs and Q&A sessions.
Now entering his fourth season with the Grizzlies organization, Makris will lead basketball operations and assist in the business side of the NBA D-League expansion franchise. Makris served 10 seasons (2007-17) with the NBA D-League’s Iowa Energy (now Iowa Wolves), including his final nine as general manager after being appointed to the position in May 2008 at the age of 27. In that role, Makris guided the Energy to the 2011 NBA D-League Championship, four division titles and five NBA D-League playoff appearances. The Rhinelander, Wisc. native is the NBA D-League’s all-time leader for regular season wins by a general manager (246) and is the only GM in league history whose teams won at least four division crowns.
Cyprien joined the Grizzlies organization during the 2014-15 season in the Grizzlies basketball operations front office and was named interim head coach of the Iowa Energy on Jan. 9, 2017. The New Orleans native earned a reputation as one of the top assistant coaches and recruiters in the country during his many years on the collegiate scene, coaching and recruiting current and former NBA players such as Tony Allen, Will Barton, Patrick Beverley, DeAndre Liggins, Shawn Marion, Jodie Meeks, Khris Middleton and Patrick Patterson during his stints at Texas A&M University, the University of Memphis, the University of Kentucky, the University of Arkansas, New Mexico State University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, among others.
In addition to their NBA D-League responsibilities, Makris and Cyprien both will continue in their roles within the Grizzlies front office.
The Grizzlies’ NBA D-League team will play its 24 home games at the 8,400-seat Landers Center, located 20 miles south of Memphis in Southaven, Miss. Ticket information and pricing, as well as the team name and logo, will be announced at a later date. Fans interested in Season Tickets can log onto www.memphisdleague.com or call (901) 888-HOOP and place deposits of $50 per seat to gain Season Ticket priority.
Eight current Grizzlies players have NBA D-League experience, including Wade Baldwin IV, Deyonta Davis, Troy Daniels, James Ennis III, JaMychal Green, Andrew Harrison, Jarell Martin and Wayne Selden Jr., while assistant coach Nick Van Exel served as head coach of the NBA D-League’s Texas Legends during the 2015-16 season.
Fans who want to support the Memphis D-League franchise can do so now by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to memphisdleague.com and place a $50 deposit on 2017/18 Season Tickets today. For more information on the Memphis D-League franchise and the Grizzlies, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter (@memgrizz).