Coach Hollins, from Ron Ron Tillery at the Commercial Appeal:
"I've allowed myself at different times to imagine the possibilities," Hollins said. "Once we made the (big offseason) deals, whatever negatives have been out there have departed from my thought process. I think about how we can be a really good offensive team. I envision the ball really moving, us getting an open shot and the crowd goes wild.
"I see us deflecting the ball on defense, creating a turnover and finding an open man down-court. It leads to an easy score and the crowd goes crazy. ... I can't spend time trying to address critics. My energy and focus is trying to get us to a point where we can be competitive every night."
And Ron's take on the situation, try to hear a little bias in his authorial voice:
The Griz added more depth to their roster and that should improve the competitiveness at practices. But observers won't be as interested in the spirited closed-door sessions as they will be in how the Griz perform under the bright lights. Before the Iverson signing, Hollins was prepared to start two talented young guards, Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo.
Now, the backcourt roles are up in the air.
Hollins told everyone, including Iverson, the lineup will be determined in training camp. Griz general manager Chris Wallace isn't tied in knots about the process and points to Hollins' ability to connect with players as his strong suit.
Then Tillery turned the mic over to the players to comment on their coach's approach:
"There's no beating around the bush," forward Rudy Gay said. "When you're coaching men, that's the best way you can handle it. There are no mind games. He tells the truth."
Glad to hear we're not in a Don Nelson situation, and take it away Allen Iverson.:
"He doesn't cut any corners. He came to me straight with the concerns that he had and he wanted me to come with any concerns that I had," Iverson said of his two-hour meeting with Hollins before adding that he'll be cooperative.
"I'm a basketball player and I can adjust to anything on the court. I have the knowledge of the game and physical ability to carry out whatever a coach wants me to."
And finally, perhaps the most true statement of the entire day, straight out of the mouth of Hollins:
"On every team I've played on, everybody wanted to shoot the ball," said Hollins, who appeared in the playoffs in eight of his 10 NBA seasons as a player. "You want players who want the ball. It's my job to put them in the best system that they do things without the ball until the ball comes to them. Sacrifice is going to be a huge conversation throughout the season. Winning teams are very talented. But those talented players have to make sacrifices."
Well, everybody is saying all the right things on the first day. Good news, or no news? Probably more like no news. Not that I don't trust Coach, but it's easy to walk a straight line after your first drink.