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Damage Control: Rudy Gay on trade: "I was mad"

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Rudy Gay tries to back out of being passive aggressive about Memphis.

Elsa

Rudy Gay gave an interview to the Commercial Appeal’s Ron Tillery in which he opened up about his recent comments that he missed "nothing" about Memphis, and talked about his life since the trade that sent him northward with Hamed Haddadi to Toronto.

One gets the sense that Gay was trying to clear the air and do a little bit of damage control, but it’s clear that he’s upset with the Grizzlies organization for trading him:

I said ‘nothing’ because I was mad. Think about it. If you’re somebody who has done so much in that community and in that city and then out of nowhere just get thrown away, you’d be mad too. Shoot. That’s where I lived. Obviously, there’s stuff I miss about it. … To the organization … I can’t have any pity for the organization because of how they handled the trade. The city? Yeah, I miss it. Hopefully I still have fans there.

Tillery asked Gay what he thought of the statements made by the Griz front office that the trade makes them a "more dangerous playoff team", and he said "Well, good luck." Gay asserts that the front office never told him he was on the trade market, something which Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien has contradicted a couple of times.

What is clear is that Gay isn’t happy about the way the Grizzlies handled the trade, and he continues to insist that he (1) never asked for a trade and (2) was never aware he was on the trade market. Whatever the case, you can be sure that Gay’s former Griz teammates heard that he missed "nothing" and probably see his clarification as little more than backpedaling.

Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe that’s the way I feel and I’m projecting it onto the players. But look, I’ve lived in Memphis a long time. This is not a city that forgets things. You get traded away, and say you don’t miss anything about Memphis, when you’ve played here seven years and people have — for the most part, anyway — had your back for the whole time?

People in Memphis aren’t going to forgive you when you say "I was mad when I said that." Right or wrong, that’s the way things are here. It’s a whole town with a chip on its shoulder, and any perceived slight is bulletin board material for the whole million or so people who live here. Good luck trying to un-burn those bridges, Rudy, but I’m not sure it’s going to go so well for you.

Read the whole interview. He’s got some good stuff to say, I guess, but the whole thing reads like damage control to me.