I've been trying to weigh out why the Memphis Grizzlies made the mid-season trade for Jeff Green. Or rather, I've been trying to relate their decision to something in the more mundane realities of our everyday life.
I know why they did it in the basketball world. They needed a wing player, specifically a small forward, who could score the basketball and provide some athleticism.
Tayshaun Prince was beyond the twilight.
Quincy Pondexter was completely suffocated by his own psych problems.
Vince Carter was picking pieces of bone out of his ankle.
The Grizzlies looked around the NBA landscape. They saw very few available pieces they considered to be the right upgrade over what they had, and most of those desirable pieces were completely out of their price range, i.e., they'd have to give up one or more of their core pieces to draw interest from the partnering team.
Jeff Green was one of the only players who fell into the small window of what they needed + a price they could afford. Acquiring Green also had the manufactured intrigue of him being sought after by other teams, including the in-conference foe of the Portland Trail Blazers. The Grizzlies saw the slim options they had, coupled that with the ticking timer of when another team would snag Green from the Celtics and pulled the trigger.
I literally imagine Dave Joerger, Chris Wallace and John Hollinger at a table with a phone in the center, Hollinger eye-rolling and saying "Fuck it...", Joerger giving a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ while finishing Hollinger's sentence with "...let's do it," and Wallace picking up the phone with one hand and fist-pumping with the other.
They were going all in on 2014-15, and they probably all agreed to never look back. I have not agreed to such a thing, and I'll share a story that's similar to what those gentlemen probably went through in January of 2015.
Last weekend I attended a wedding. Such an event always presents issue for me because, fashion-wise, I'm a blogger in the utmost; I don't particularly care for dressing up. I also work from home so this is a preference that has become very easy to keep integrated into my lifestyle.
So, after digging through my available supply of twice-worn Van Heusen's and never-worn-gifted ties, I realize I need a couple of additions to my ensemble to ensure that my wife will continue to want to be seen with me in public. Specifically, I wanted to purchase a set of suspenders because I don't really like belts, and whenever I've rented tuxes they've come with suspenders that I've enjoyed wearing. And these suspenders are the allegorical Jeff Green of this story.
I head to Macy's department store at the Oak Court Mall in Memphis. I know precisely where to park, enter, peruse and check out – generally the only circumstances under which I'll agree to clothes shopping.
I went straight to the section where the men's accessories were displayed. It's easy to spot and to then remember because it's always been next to the section of heinous Affliction clothing that emanates a rare but visible form of douche throughout the store.
After pacing around the étagères a couple of minutes, I finally find the section of suspenders.
It's literally one section and one brand.
I wasn't really concerned with the selection of suspender styles they had because I was aiming for the most basic, black set they had available. But the problem with only having one brand of something is that it usually means you've got one echelon of prices to deal with.
And sure enough, the sole brand of suspender only had one price available, and it was too much for my budget on something that I was going to wear one night and then possibly not wear again for years. I decided that I'd just go find a shirt on sale that would stay tucked in a little better. That's all I really needed. There was no need to spend a bunch of money on something with a jacked-up price just because my options were limited and I wanted to have a certain look for the evening.
Does that ring a bell with the Grizzlies?
It shouldn't. The Grizzlies did the exact opposite of what I did in their shopping this season.
If the Grizzlies were me at this point in the story, they would have walked through Macy's another 15 minutes, asked employees if they knew of any other suspenders in the store, realized there weren't any, gone to grab that overpriced pair of suspenders and paid full price for them on their Macy's card. That should sound a little more familiar to you now.
I'm sure I would have looked great in those suspenders, and they would have been super comfortable during the wedding. Similarly, Jeff Green has a very pleasant welcome into Grizz Nation. The Grizzlies won games. Fans saw fantastic dunks. But months later many of us are now wallowing in buyer's remorse.
I can admire the Grizzlies for being bold and making a move that they thought would put them over the top, but I think they probably got a little caught up in the moment and made a decision based on too many things other than what they really needed, which was perimeter shooting.
Maybe if the stakes had been bigger for me I would have ponied up the extra money to make a statement. The Grizzlies certainly saw big stakes and went all in for it.
Like I said, I can appreciate their intentions. But it'll be time to make the payment on that Macy's card again soon.