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Another Grizzlies honor: EVP of Basketball Operations & General Manager Zachary Z. Kleiman wins NBA Basketball Executive of the Year

At age 33, Zachary Kleiman is the youngest winner of the NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award.
Credit: Memphis Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The NBA announced Wednesday that Memphis Grizzlies EVP of Basketball Operations and General Manager Zachary Z. Kleiman is the 2021-22 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year.

At age 33, Kleiman is the youngest winner of the NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award. He has been with the Grizzlies fo seven season, three of them in his current position. 

He is the second person with Grizzlies to win, following Jerry West for the 2003-2004 season.

“This is an organizational honor,” said Kleiman in a news release. “I wouldn’t be in this position without Robert (Pera)’s vision and support, and I’m grateful to be pursuing NBA championships in Memphis with such a driven and competitive group of players and staff. Thank you to my peers for this recognition.”

The NBA said Kleiman received 16 of the 29 first-place votes and 85 total points. The voting panel included team executives across the NBA. 

From the Grizzlies: In Kleiman’s third season leading the team’s Basketball Operations, Memphis recorded the second-best record in the NBA (56-26) and tied the 2012-13 franchise record for winning percentage (.683). The Grizzlies earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs (a franchise record) and captured the Southwest Division championship, the first division title in franchise history.

Under Kleiman, the Grizzlies assembled a roster that set a franchise record for scoring average with 115.6 points per game (second in the NBA) as the second-youngest team in the NBA. All 9,480 of the Grizzlies’ points this season were scored by players under the age of 30. Memphis led the league in rebounds (49.2), offensive rebounds (14.1), steals (9.8), blocks (6.5), points in the paint (57.6), second chance points (18.7) and fast break points (17.7), setting single-season franchise records in every category except blocks (which ranked second in club history). The Grizzlies became the first team to lead the NBA in rebounds, steals and blocks since steals and blocks became official statistics in 1973-74.

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