Grizzlies' Kleiman youngest to win NBA top exec award
New York (AFP) - Zach Kleiman, the Memphis Grizzlies' vice president of basketball operations and general manager, was named NBA Executive of the Year on Thursday, becoming the youngest to ever win the award.
The 33-year-old American has guided the team's basketball operations for the past three seasons and joined 2004 winner Jerry West as the only Memphis personnel honored since the award began in the 1972-73 campaign.
Kleiman received 16 of 29 first-place votes and 85 total points in voting by a panel of NBA executives.Cleveland Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman and Chicago Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas shared second on 27 points.
Kleiman assembled a Memphis roster that finished with the NBA's second-best record this season at 56-26, matching a one-season club record for triumphs to claim the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs, their highest spot ever.
In 2019, Kleiman selected Ja Morant with the second pick in the NBA Draft and hired Taylor Jenkins as coach.Morant was named the NBA's Most Improved Player this season and Jenkins was runner-up for NBA Coach of the Year.
Kleiman joined the Grizzlies in 2015 as their in-house legal counsel, served as assistant general manager in the 2018-19 season and was promoted to his current role in April 2019.