Saturday, November 20, 2010

Still Grizzly After All These Years

I've been putting off writing about the Grizzlies partly due to competing priorities in my personal life and partly because I'm losing interest in writing about the Grizzlies.

I still follow all the news. For example, within hours of Acie Law missing the Grizzlies' flight to Denver, I was reading about his release at the dog park in my Twitter feed via Pete Pranica, Chris Vernon, and The Commercial Appeal.

I also still watch the games on NBA League Pass. I even splurged for tickets to a game at the Forum over the Thanksgiving Holiday. It will likely be the only game I see in person this year, and I came away disappointed even though the Grizzlies won. I didn't expect these Grizzlies to scrape out a victory at home against the Warriors sans David Lee.

Here was my view for the 1 game I'll attend in person this season. At home, the Grizz almost blew it to a Warriors team that was missing its best post player.

Despite watching the games and following the news I can't get excited about writing about any number of Grizzlies topics this year, including:
  • The improvement of Rudy Gay and Mike Conley
  • The struggles of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph
  • OJ Mayo's move the bench
  • The disappointment of Tony Allen
  • Wins over Miami and the Lakers
  • The tough early schedule
  • The regression of Sam Young (from sometimes good to always bad)
  • The regression of Hasheem Thabeet (from terrible to worse than terrible)
  • The regression of Demarre Carroll (Who is Damarre Carroll again?)
Any of these are worthy topics for one of the top 50 Grizzlies blogs of all time.

But these topics seem unimportant at this point. These all pale in comparison to what's at the front of my mind: the Grizzlies are exactly what everyone (Grizzlies & fans excluded) expected them to be, a mediocre basketball team.

This guy is a complete joke. I really feel sorry for him, but he has become a symbol for the Grizzlies' failures.

This team is just plain bad. They are the type of team that might make the playoffs if it weren't for all the other teams getting better all the time.

Owner, Michael Heisley, and the Management team, led by General Manager Chris Wallace seem to expend all of their energy trying to convince the public that the 'young core' is exciting and will improve at some point in the future.

These efforts seem to come at the expense of actually improving the team. Instead of fielding a team that is in the top half of the league's teams, the organization is determined to convince everyone that things aren't as bad as they seem. Meanwhile, the team continues to lose. The acquisitions and draft picks are more often than not a disappointment, and the arena sits half empty for almost every game.

This theme -that the Grizzlies are a complete and utter disappointment- has dominated the Grizzlies for most of their 10 years in Memphis. If team's performance is this consistently bad for the next 10 years, even the most passionate Grizzlies fans will stop caring about any of the stories Heisley and his Admins are peddling. I hope someone miraculously turns this ship around sooner than that.

In the meantime, I'll try to do my part by giving voice to one Grizzly fan's disgust.


joel said...


Kevin Lipe said...

Well said. I wish the fans could fire the whole goddamn front office. The roster and the recent contract extensions make no sense to anyone but Heisley.

J-Bo said...

I agree with Gay and Conley extensions.

I don't believe in Thabeet, Carroll and Young developing into decent ballers. Horrible draft thought.

I believe in Henry and Vasquez.

I agree with Z-Bo and Marc struggling.

I see Mayo depressed.

But there's time enough to be lost and found, and im still watching all grizz games through League Pass.

Grizz 4 Ever!

Sam said...

But David, there's an article in on titled "Grizzlies say they've put their issues behind them." Are you suggesting that's not true?

Justin said...

David -

Has the Grizzlies' current win streak lifted your spirits?

This may be a turnaround. Just listen to Tony Allen after Monday's win against the Portland:

"It ain't Chinese algebra," said reserve guard Tony Allen, who was part of the Grizzlies' defensive effort with a pair of steals in the fourth. "If you get stops, and you execute on offense, normally that teams wins."

The Grizz are getting back to American algebra basketball fundamentals. I expect to see more solid defense, execution on offense, and point-slope formula. All reasons for hope.