If you haven't been following OJ Mayo since he landed in Dallas, take a look over at a recent NBA.com Hang Time Blog on OJ Mayo. Basically, he's been having the best season of his career to this point. And just in case you're a cave-dwelling Memphis Grizzly fan, the Beale Street bears are sitting at the top of the League right now.
There's still a lot more season to go, but I don't think it's too early to begin a conversation of how much sense it made for Memphis to let OJ go. Or does it really make sense? The Grizzlies' ongoing weakness is perimeter scoring and that happens to be what Mayo is doing a lot of for Dallas. Furthermore, I can recall Mayo playing solid defense in a blue and gold uni. In my opinion, OJ just seemed like a player that fit the Grizzly team identity. And yet, that identity seems to have solidified more in his absence.
I guess I have to chalk this one up to a Goldilocks syndrome: it just wasn't the right fit. One of the biggest intangible aspects of any sport is the feel of a locker room, the cohesion and unity of a team. This is pure speculation, but I don't believe that Mayo and Coach Hollins had the best dynamic. I'm not saying I think it was outright contentious, but even a little friction can create a charge that diffuses that locker room solidity.
We may never really understand why Memphis is doing better without OJ, and vice versa. My final thought is this: I really respect OJ Mayo as a player and I'm glad for him to do well post-Grindhouse. It's a curious tale, but in the end they lived happily ever after. Well, other than when Memphis and Dallas face off.