Age of Grit and Grind – Run Zach Randolph told People bullies were bullied where he’s from When Tony Allen kicked someone in the face like Chris Paul – The team didn’t really enjoy playing for the Memphis Grizzlies. It was the physical brand of basketball (even without face kicks) and the team prided itself on being “in the mud” on both offense and defense. It built the most successful run (so far) in the rice field.

The Ja Morant era (aka #GrzNxtGen) has the potential to surpass Grit and Grind all over the world, for better or worse.

This truth was fully demonstrated on Friday night when she was a TV personality in Los Angeles. Shannon Sharp got into an altercation with Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks, Morant, Stephen Adams and even Morant’s father TeeThings apparently got crushed – while At least Tee Morant and Sharp -But the fact remains that Sharpe (a notable fan of Lakers’ LeBron James) wasn’t impressed with Memphis’ way of doing things.

And Dillon Brooks wasn’t a fan of Sharp…and tried to act as if he didn’t know who the “undisputed” host was.

The “up the chimney” mentality that Memphis has adopted as part of the audacity that Ja Morant brings to the team on the floor means the smoke is sure to come your way. And in addition to his one of the best seasons in franchise history from 2021 to 2022, after a strong start to this campaign, the team is no longer surprised by what the young Memphis team can do on the basketball court. They are familiar with Desmond Bain’s scoring prowess and Jaren Jackson Jr.’s defensive prowess.

And as the game against the Lakers showed on Friday night, more and more people are noticing their “trash talk” ways.

Some of this is exaggerated – the proverbial old man shouting into the clouds. Memphis is an exception in that he’s one of the NBA’s youngest teams (their rotation, the injured Danny Green was left out, and he got younger in the offseason), and he’s one of the NBA’s best teams. There is also one.They act their age sometimes…they love to danceThey also love to make sure they’re comfortable in their own skin. The fewest home losses overall.

But when they put on a show on the go, success is less present. They were 11-12 after falling short of a historic comeback in a loss to the Suns, and two straight losses kicked him off a five-game road trip. This follows a franchise record-tying 11-game winning streak.

This isn’t as bad as, say, the Golden State Warriors (6-18) in trouble with the Grizzlies, or the two teams Memphis lost over the weekend (the Lakers are 9-14). 7-17). But that meaning seems to have been amplified lately when Memphis loses. A similar sentiment is growing among fans, especially online, with Shannon Sharpe. In fact, the Memphis Grizzlies aren’t “about it.”

Ja Morant is a generational talent, a player about to make his shoe debut nationally for Nike, the biggest athletic outfitter on the planet. The rest of the team has far more success than it should from a historical standpoint – with the exception of the Boston Celtics (which features Al Horford as a veteran present). , no team has won with a team whose key players are so young. Oklahoma City Thunder 10 years ago. That team had players like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

That level of productivity and league-wide impact is on the table for the Memphis Grizzlies. It is possible. But that hasn’t happened yet — no Finals appearances, no long stay in the postseason past the second round. That’s why in the NBA he’s one of the most winning teams in the 2022 calendar year and I love to hate this Memphis team despite all the youthful vigor the Grizzlies have A growing section of his NBA fandom.

It’s probably a sign of reaching a competitive position more than anything else.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies vs Phoenix Suns

Mark J. Levilas-USA TODAY Sports

Even in his 18th NBA season, Chris Paul, who played a big role in cooking the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday’s first half, is still one of the best point guards to play basketball. Hated by fans. Remember Tony Allen’s kick? It was pretty much recognized by most people back then. LeBron James is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, but to say it among the majority of NBA fans would trigger an instinctive reaction. Regardless of how much “worthy” is as the all-time great player, or whether it’s a comment about him, it’s immune to “hate” that isn’t really hate. dress professionally for the game.

And, of course, the broader NBA fan base outside of the Warriors’ sizable fan base will be fine if Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and company don’t return to the NBA Finals yet again. That group will no doubt include Grizzlies supporters.

Part of “arriving” is that people don’t like the way you do things. Memphis is built almost entirely from the inside, with the exception of the traditional “veterans”. No player older than his 29 has played a minute for the Grizzlies this season. Morant, Bain, Jackson Jr., Brooks… 80% of the Grizzlies’ starting five were drafted by the Memphis franchise. Brandon Clarke and Ziaire Williams are key rotation pieces selected by the Grizzlies in the NBA Draft. They have happily set the “standard” on the floor, prioritizing transition offense, strong defense, and their personalities reflecting their youth. That’s why more and more kids are wearing Ja Morant jerseys. Why is Nike interested in Morant as part of the next generation of NBA players beyond Paul and James?

That’s why the “hate” will continue to grow as the Grizzlies further solidify their contender status in the months and years to come.

A common saying among those against Memphis is that they have won “nothing” yet. Of course this is not true. The first division title in franchise history isn’t as important in the NBA as it is in other professional leagues, but it’s not “nothing.” Nor does he have the ability to say he won 56 games in the regular season, or has a younger roster than most other players in the NBA, and his franchise has been improving year after year for three consecutive seasons. Teams with the three best players under the age of 25 typically participate in the NBA Draft Lottery. Memphis have their sights set on the Western Conference Finals…and they’ll continue their journey toward that goal in their own way.

And that slow but sure roar of disdain for reality is a reminder that these grizzly bears have arrived.

Like it or not.


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