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The Ball Who Lived: The Grizzlies as a Quidditch Team

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the new play conceived-but-not-written-by J.K. Rowling, and the birthday of the Boy Who Lived, there’s been a recent resurgence in Potter-themed material. Even Memphis got in on the festivities with its Potterfest at The Rec Room this past Sunday.

With all of this going on, I decided it was worth taking a look at the Grizzlies roster and seeing how they would fit into the wizarding world. Put another way: What would the Grizzlies look like if, instead of basketball, they played quidditch?

For those of you unfamiliar with Harry Potter (you’re really missing out, by the way), allow me to explain quidditch quickly. There are seven players for each team. The three chasers try to score the quaffle, the two beaters try to hit opponents with bludgers, the keeper tries to stop the chasers from scoring, and the seeker tries to catch the snitch (which scores 150 points and ends the game). Most importantly, the sport is played on flying broomsticks.

Simple, right? You can read more about the sport, and the way it works here, if you’re not interested in reading the Potter books. But for now, let’s break down the Memphis Grizzlies and their quidditch roster:

Keeper

Starter: Marc Gasol

Reserve: Brandan Wright

Quidditch is played with three hoops rather than just one, so Marc makes sense simply for size and rim-protecting ability. His length should allow him to defend three goals without too much of an issue. Plus, flying up and down the pitch seems like it’s asking a lot of the big man. He’ll be much more comfortable set up in the quidditch version of the post, protecting the rims.

Wright seems like the natural choice to back him up. He’s got good length, he’s explosive, and he’s athletic. His rim protection might not necessarily be the greatest on the court, but in the air, it’s worth betting on.

Beaters

Starters: Tony Allen, Zach Randolph

Reserves: Deyonta Davis, JaMychal Green, Jarell Martin

There are no Grizzlies more cut out for the beater position than TA and Z-Bo. Beaters are equipped with bats, which they use to hit bludgers at opposing players. It’s a position based on causing as much chaos as possible, and I’m absolutely confident that these guys would thrive in this situation. I’m also fairly certain TA would, at some point or another, take his bat to a player directly, which would lead to both a multiple game suspension and the erection of a statue in downtown Memphis.

This position is the one with the most inexperience behind the starters. Davis likely has the best raw tools for the position but is just a rookie. JaMychal and Jarell both have more experience, but they’ll still need to prove that they have the killer instinct needed to replace Allen and Randolph long-term.

Chasers

Starters: James Ennis, Andrew Harrison, Chandler Parsons

Reserves: Jordan Adams, Vince Carter, Troy Daniels

When it comes to offense, Parsons and Ennis offer Memphis a quality scoring duo, while Harrison’s size and handle at least allow him to help create shots for the other two, even if he’s unable to finish at the rims efficiently. It’s also worth considering the length that this trio offers, since they’ll be able to defend opposing chasers fairly well.

Daniels also offers a spot starter off the bench if you’re looking for more scoring. Beyond that, though... Well, Vince Carter is old and I’m not sure putting him on a flying broom is the greatest idea. Jordan Adams might actually be able to play if the Grizzlies were a quidditch team. Knees are much less of an issue when you’re flying around on a broom rather than running around a hardwood court. So, hey, there’s something!

Seeker

Starter: Mike Conley

Reserve: Wade Baldwin IV

Conley makes the most sense as the seeker, but I’ll admit, I’m not sure how his basketball skills transfer to a magical game played on flying brooms. (Yes, I know this is a ridiculous statement.) Point guards like Steph Curry and Damian Lillard figure to be more prototypical seekers, where being light and fast provide enormous advantages. Conley, on the other hand, will have to rely more on guile and misdirection than your average seeker. He’s certainly capable of it, but he’ll have his work cut out for him on the pitch.

Baldwin is an obvious candidate to be groomed by Conley to eventually replace him as chaser of the snitch. Baldwin has some athleticism, and his length could be a great weapon (you’re going to have to reach for those things, and wingspan comes in handy there). He’s still going to be a little raw, so Memphis may need to up the quaffle scoring if Conley misses extended time, but in time Baldwin should be a serviceable NQA (National Quidditch Association) seeker in his own right.


All-in-all, the Grizzlies have a roster already set up for the great wizarding sport. With Gasol at the rims, along with talented scorers, a pair of fierce beaters, and a seeker that should be able to outsmart his opponents, Memphis would be right at home in the wizarding world.

Now, if we could just get Robert Pera to finance a new set of Firebolts for the team, there’d be no stopping them.