There’s something special happening in Memphis and I want in.
It started for me when I first saw Ja Morant. Growing up in England, you don’t know who or what Murray State is, let alone that they have a team called the Racers.
Seeing Ja ball awoke something in me that I’d been missing for a long time when it comes to Basketball. This dude was carrying a team I’d never heard of (no offence) on his back to relevance in my favourite tournament in sports and he was doing it with style.
Before the tournament, I’d heard the stories and I’d seen the clips but nothing prepares you for seeing him play, nothing.
The whole tournament was an afterthought from the moment Florida State took out the Racers, that’s how insane the impression this kid had made on me.
As soon as the odds came out for Rookie Of The Year, I placed my bet.
As you can tell, I simply love Ja Morant but that’s not enough for me. I’m not one of those people that will just follow a team because of a star, if I were I have the perfect excuse to have ridden the Bucks or Lakers bandwagon all the way to the conference finals, or at least try to.
I love how the Grizzlies have drafted and I love what they are doing. Yes Ja and Jaren Jackson Jr are special and that’s going to be a hell of a partnership for years to come hopefully, but it’s more than that.
Dillon Brooks was absolutely right to call out Igoudala’s self entitlement and it’s this that made me really take notice. I’m not in love with the way he did it, but for a young team to have young leaders like this who won’t take that kind of disrespect and to tell a multiple ring winner, you’re one of us or get the hell out of here? Oh yeah, that made me sit up and take note!
There’s no one more entitled to call out Igoudala on the Grizz than Brooks by they way. Probably the fourth man on a championship team, a damn good player who has had to fight for everything he has and has that chip on his shoulder based on where he was drafted. He’s every right to be mad at someone he probably looked up to dialling it in while he’s giving it his heart and soul along with his teammates.
What I see in the Memphis Grizzlies is everything I’ve ever wanted in a team. A young hungry core, flair, a great attitude on and off the court, veteran presence, excellent GM, owner and coach, passionate fans and the chance to be there for the first title.
I know the history of the team as well and I remember that 2013 team. I didn’t like how they did things I’m not going to lie, it was TOO defensive for me and that Jon Leuer trade made no sense to me at the time, but with that said I loved the hustle and I loved that the management had a plan, a plan that they stuck to. It was a plan that Grizzlies fans bought into and I think we are seeing history repeat itself in that respect.
The Grizz will of course be hoping for a better outcome than the 2013 Western Conference Semi finals at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs
The good news is, this team has a much higher ceiling and I believe e a much, much, better plan.
So i’ll be watching, supporting, hoping for that playoff spot but if it doesn’t come then I have every reason to come back season after season.
Also, I’m looking forward to learning more about Memphis as a city.
Igoudala wants out? Fine by me, I’m happy to go in the opposite direction.
Let’s go Grizzlies.