Monday, June 15, 2009

Dear Bill Simmons

Please quit talking shit about the Memphis Grizzlies.

In almost every article you write, you mention that Memphis is terrible. Either Memphis has no fans or Memphis is "NBA Hell."

Here's why you should stop talking shit:

1. We already know the Grizzlies suck.

Memphis has the worst playoff record of any team ever (0-12). They have the worst record of any team over the past three seasons (68-178, 28%). By almost any measure of basketball success, the Grizzlies are terrible.

2. The Grizzlies are less of a clusterfuck than you think.

They're one of a few teams that didn't lose money this season.

They have the lowest payroll of any NBA team.

They have some good young players (Mayo, M. Gasol), the #2 pick, and few bad contracts on the books (Milicic, Jaric), none of which are Zach Randolph bad (despite Wallace's best efforts).

3. Gasol isn't as good as you think.

Gasol is a very good player. He's one of the best big men scorers, but he's not the second best center in the league. For one thing, he's not really a center, or if he is, then so is Amare.

Kobe is often judged by his team's accomplishments when he was the best player on the team. Consider Gasol's accomplishments when he was the best player on the an NBA team.

His team made the playoffs in three of the six full seasons in which he played in the NBA. He never won a playoff game as the best player on his team despite a supporting cast that featured players that have had success in the playoffs independent of Gasol (Battier, Wells, White Chocolate, James Posey)

That's why no one would trade for him at face value.

To look at it another way, how does Pau Gasol compare with second best players on other recent Championship teams?

He's definitely worse than Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett (or Paul Pierce).

He's in the ball park of Tony Parker

He's better than Otis Thorpe and whoever you want to pick from the 2004 Pistons.

4. The Gasol trade wasn't as bad as you think.

Yes, it was a bad trade. The Grizzlies traded an All Star Power Forward for a starting Center.

However, if you take into account the cost of each player it doesn't look so bad.

Pau Gasol's PER last season was 22.31 while Marc Gasol's was 16.74. If you divide those by salary, you get Gasol for 22.31 / 15 million = 1.5 PER points per million dollars spent.

For Marc Gasol, it's 16.74 / 3 million = 5.6 PER points per million dollars.

Sometimes you have to pay to get the best players, but Gasol wasn't taking the Grizzlies anywhere.

I can't believe you just made me try to justify the Pau Gasol trade. See what you're doing?

That brings me to my last point:

5. We already know the Grizzlies suck.

You don't need to kick us while we're down. That's what the Clippers and the Knicks are for. We already have someone from Boston to remind us of how bad we are. We don't need you too.

Best Regards,


Curt said...


"He never one a playoff game as the best player on his team..."

"one" and "won" are homonyms. They sound the same but mean different things.

Also, you failed to mention that we received a former number WON overall draft pick in exchange for Gasol, and that we turned Javaris Crittendon into money.

Best Regards,

David Jones said...

Thanks Curt, I have now updated the post.

Anonymous said...

I have mailed everything in this post to Bill Simmons at least once. I like his column, but it is truly amazing how much he hates the city of Memphis and the Memphis Grizzlies. There are innumerable examples of this.

ollerblueboy said...

Great article David. Bill Simmons is my favorite columnist, but he hates way too often on the Grizzlies.

John said...

what do you think of Ian thompsen saying we are going to pick tyreke evans? To his credit he also mentions that nobody has a clue what Memphis is going to do. but Tyreke at the 2? Oh and nice artcle, but it could have used a movie reference, something like "Bill, you hate on Memphis so much its like your Bill Murray in Groundhog Day". Can't wait to read his 800 page book this fall.

Sam said...

This is off subject, but you are the only people who could be interested in this:

"Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was in custody Wednesday in Washington on drug and burglary charges out of Texas after being arrested by customs agents as he returned to the United States from Canada.
Leaf had not been booked into the Whatcom County Jail by early Wednesday afternoon."

Any chance Ted can sell some wine to the NFL's biggest bust?

Curt said...

Seriously, Tyreke at the 2? He's more like a number 1 overall pick. Also, for the second year in a row, I will be watching the NBA draft with Ted. It's got to be good luck.

Trinh said...

4. The Gasol trade wasn't as bad as you think.

This is true. The city of Memphis got to enjoy the ball skills of Kwame Brown for a season.

warsaw said...

"despite a supporting cast that featured players that have had success in the playoffs independent of Gasol (Battier, Wells, White Chocolate, James Posey)"

They had success being like the 4º or 5º best option on those teams?.

David Jones said...

Warsaw, I think that's a great point.

When Gasol was the best player on his team, he certainly didn't have a supporting cast that was title worthy.

However, my point was that Gasol wasn't able to lead his team to a playoff victory in 12 chances. If he was the "second best center in the league", shouldn't he have been able to win one game with the team he had? Are there other big men that could have one a playoff game with those teams?

Dwight Howard, the best center in the league, took his team to the finals.

James Posey is no Hedo Turkgolu, but Posey and Williams were significant players on teams that won the championship, and they were probably better players in their Memphis days.

Wells, Battier, Posey, and Williams have also made significant runs in the playoffs independent of the two championships.

These aren't scrubs, and they didn't win ONE GAME with Gasol at the helm. If we're going to knock Kobe for his team success, we should also measure other players in the same way.

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