Every member of the Memphis Grizzlies roster was born to play basketball, and it's phenomenal seeing their athletic prowess on the court, but just as every World Cup cycle, many prognosticators like to imagine what would it be like if our greatest athletes like Lebron and Kevin Durant committed to playing Soccer as Children, we here at Grizzly Bear Blues wanted to imagine what other sports you might see members of our current roster playing.
Marc Gasol, 7' 1" 265 lbs -
Shoe Throwing Volleyball
A men's volleyball net is 7' 11 5/8" tall. Not only is Marc already 90% of net height without jumping, but he also has a wing span that exceeds 7 feet. Whether playing doubles in the sand or indoor on a court with a full 6 man team, Marc's unique skills would really translate well. His defensive positioning would be a great asset blocking at the net, as well as being able to cover the court for passes and sets, additionally, a spike from Marc could probably hit anywhere on the court, and anyone getting behind for a bump or dig would probably regret it the next day.
Zach Randolph, 6' 9" 260 lbs -
Table Tennis Football
Specifically Tight End, though Randolph probably wouldn't be the Jimmy Graham/ Tony Gonzalez Tight End. Randolph may be one of the most physical players in the NBA, and as a blocking TE, you'd see the pancakes stack up. Linebackers and Cornerbacks would spend the rest of the week feeling a Zach Randolph block. Did I mention soft hands? Yes he would be a blocking tight end, but his 6' 9" frame would be featured in the endzone, and after selling another scary block, Randolph would be open for easy lobs on play action and those soft hands would claim any and every ball sent his way. And of course he could finish the play through contact.
Mike Conley, 6' 1" 185 lbs - Soccer
If you watched the US in the World Cup, I would put Conley as a logical successor to Demarcus Beasley at left back. Conley is left handed which would logically translate to a superior left foot. Just like in Baseball, lefties are the minority of players and can succeed at a higher rate. Conley's speed would most likely be world class and he could definitely fit in a Demarcus Beasley type role. He would be comfortable in distribution and would be able to penetrate into the 18 yard box and find a streaking teammate and would create many assists. Additionally, few attackers would be able to beat Conley to the end line with his speed and knack for defense.
Tony Allen, 6' 4" 213 lbs - Tennis
Like a generation of players growing up in the early 90's, Tony would've modeled his game after the great Pete Sampras wanting to serve and volley at the net. While players like Taylor Dent and a few other Americans were unable to translate this style to the baseline play currently favored by most pro Tennis players today, Tony Allen can pretty much play with anybody. The Grindfather could grind with the best of them on the Tennis court. Just like Rafa Nadal, Allen's dogged defensive play would wear down his opponents until he could get an opening to swing the point his way. Allen is almost self-coached which would again be an advantage for him in the mental game. Allen's study of game tape would be exhaustive, and many tennis players would find themselves after getting drubbed 6-1 6-1 6-1 saying that Allen knew them and their game better than they even knew themselves.
Courtney Lee, 6' 5" 200 lbs - Baseball
The journeyman shooting guard struggled towards the end of the season, but his signature Grizzly play will be the one handed ridiculous three pointer with .7 seconds left against the Miami Heat. Baseball has become a sport steeped in analytics, but it will always be about the home run, and while players go through slumps, they fill the seats and their bank accounts with home runs, and as Lee has excelled at the basketball version of the home run ball, he's sure to be able to blast it up into the cheap seats from behind the plate.
Vince Carter, 6'6" 220 lbs - Ultimate (Frisbee)
Now here me out here. Carter has been known his entire career as a human highlight reel including his "le dunk de la mort" ("the Dunk of Death") in the Olympics and Vinsanity would be right at home in a sport like Ultimate where a simple YouTube search reveals thousands of videos of players "skying" their opponents. Vince would be a sure target for a deep huck as few could challenge him in the air, and offenses would think twice about throwing the huck with Carter lurking anywhere near the end zone.