Monday, April 21, 2008

The Memphis Grizzlies-Where Amazing Happens

To celebrate the Grizzlies' season, I created this video inspired by the NBA's best marketing campaign that doesn't include Michael Jordan. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Who's Optimistic About Next Season?

I think I have seen this article in one form or another every season:

"Just wait, next year the Grizzlies are really going to turn things around." Last was no different. remember how Tarrance Kinsey was the next Cuttino Mobley?

One year, when Hubie Brown actually turned the team around, this article actually meant something. Does anyone think the "big picture ... seems much brighter these days"?

Monday, April 14, 2008

3shadesofblue Interviews Michael Heisley

Go read this interview now:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

This is truly an amazing piece of journalism from the guys at, and as much credit, if not more, should go to Michael Heisley for agreeing to participate.

This interview, more than any other I've ever read, gives insight into Heisley's thinking.

You learn that despite what the record indicates, he might know what he's doing:

  • He has a plan, and he thinks it will work. He also realizes there's a great deal of luck needed.
  • He knows the Grizzlies are not a success by any metrics (save those related to charitable work) including wins, fans support, profitability, and ability to successfully sell the team.
  • He also points out that while the partnership with the local ownership has not been a success, it's also not as contentious as has been reported. Though the local owners have made similar remarks in the Commercial Appeal, it would be interesting to hear them respond as candidly as Heisley.
  • He has a realistic picture of what he thinks can and will happen. He thinks the Grizzlies can turn a profit and compete. Only time will tell if he's successful or if his honest effort is a good effort.
Two really interesting themes that Heisley returned to throughout were that he hates the media (though he explicitly states he doesn't hate the media) and small market teams are at a disadvantage.

The Media

Heisley clearly dislikes the media's coverage of the Grizzlies. More specifically, he thinks that they don't represent the reality of Grizzlies basketball well. Tangentially, they don't place much emphasis on the Grizzlies' strong charitable work.

Heisley claims to understand that this is the way the world works and admits he did a poor job of navigating the media throughout his tenure. It's also clear that this upsets Heisley outright, and I don't fault him for being upset. I think Heisley's interview with 3shadesofblue goes a long way in helping the public's perception of Heisley, but the reality is that Heisley will always get a bad rap (in part deservedly) until the Grizzlies are a success given the above metrics.

Competitive Advantage in the NBA

Even more interesting is Heisley's take on the disadvantages that come with being a small market team. Heisley clearly articulates that small markets are at a disadvantage because of how revenue sharing works.

He goes on to talk about an initiative that Bobcats owner, Robert Johnson, is undertaking to petition the NBA to change the rules so the playing field is level. While probably a long shot, changes to revenue sharing would provide the Grizzlies with a better chance of success than anything Heisley can orchestrate on a local level.

I challenge Heisley to get actively involved in working on this, and in the meantime, I'm interested to see how Heisley's plan for the Grizzlies turns out.

Thanks to Heisley for taking the time and being candid. This insight gives Grizzlies fans a glimmer of hope and something to talk about during a dismal season.

Here's to hoping for some luck.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Pictures from the Nuggets Grizzlies Game

A picture montage of the Nuggets Grizzlies game. Thanks to Evan for photographing.

The Marquee.

That is a fancy jumbotron, but why do they stretch the image when they're showing the game?

Maybe I will get to see the Grizzlies new big man Kwame Brown.

There he is!

Number 1 vs Number 2

The Future, Brian Cardinal.

For 3.

We almost had Carmelo. Instead we lost our pick to Detroit, who took Darko. Who has Darko now?


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Iavaroni Out?

There's been a lot of speculation that Iavaroni is on his way out. Ron Tillery wrote one of his best articles today explaining the situation.

Here's my prediction, and you can trust it. No, I don't have inside sources, but, more significant, I'm number 1 in both my NCAA pools. If Memphis wins the tournament, I'll be the victor.

Iavaroni won't be fired during the offseason. Iavaroni's job depends on the first 20 games of next season. If the Grizzlies make a decent improvement - they don't have to be a playoff team - Iavaroni will stay on. If they maintain this winning percentage or worse, Iavaroni will be gone by Christmas.

There's no rush to fire him. He's not making a ton of money, and Larry Brown doesn't come cheap nor does he work miracles.

In my opinion, Iavaroni hasn't done a great job. I'm basing my astute analysis on the winning percentage and the style of play. By style of play, I mean they don't play defense or pass the ball (please see number of assists).

To be fair, Iavaroni hasn't had much too work with. I was glad Heisley took a chance on Iavaroni. I don't think it would be a mistake to keep him on through the beginning of next season. I also don't think it would be a mistake to mix things up if the right opportunity came along. Hubie Brown showed us that the right coach certainly can make a difference.

Here to hoping Iavaroni is the right coach...