Every team’s fans feel vitriolic about certain opponents or critics of their beloved team. Any slight can fuel the fire of irrational hatred. But for the most part, playoff opponents and players who consistently play above average against the hometown club, in this case the Memphis Grizzlies, earn the greatest ire.
So we here at Grizzly Bear Blues decided to create a Grizz Hater Index in which we rank on a scale of one to ten how much we dislike certain opponents. If you’re ready for your blood to boil with vindictive hatred, then buckle up because we’re about to get mean.
Mac Trammell: 5
As a fan of basketball, I really like watching Kevin Durant. He does some amazing things and is highly entertaining. Therefore, I give him a low score. However, as a Grizzlies fan, I grit and grind my teeth together when watching him drop 40 on us. I growl at him. I utter his name with disdain. Therefore, I give him a high rating. Average the two together, and it turns into an average of a neutral five.
Jonathan Concool: 8
Although Kevin Durant hasn’t verbally come out and said anything that would result in his eight rating on the Grizz Hater Index, he has been responsible for knocking the Grizz out of two playoff series. Back in the 2011 playoffs, Durant helped stop the memorable run the eighth seeded Grizz had as he posted a whopping 39 points in the Thunder’s decisive game seven win at home. Three years later, Durant was part of a very similar headline as he posted another 30 bomb in a decisive game seven matchup against the Grizz in 2014. Oh and not to mention Durant is a member of the Warriors now; so yeah, the eight is fitting.
Chase Lucas: 9
Lame. This identity switching bum is so underrated on the hateable scale. He's the nice guy; he's the serious guy; he's the villain; he's “the servant;” and now who the heck knows what he is. Oh and by the way, the real MVP speech is goofy and nonsensical. MVP stands for most valuable player. His mom doesn't even play in the league. She didn't get any votes.
Joe Mullinax: 4
I don't really hate Durant. My issue with Durant is joining the enemy that is Golden State when you should have beat them on your previous team. As a competitor it feels backwards, but you can argue the opposite side as well and say he’s being smart. I anticipate merging of Durant into that system will take longer than anticipated, but once they figure it out...woof.
I love Russell Westbrook, and I’m not ashamed to say it. He’s my favorite player in the league. Does that make me a bad Grizzlies fan? I don’t care. I love Bestbrook and will always love him, and I don’t care what you think!
But I give him a one because, like, five years ago I really hated him. So it’s a retroactive two. Otherwise I’d go zero or below. May Bestbrook live on forever.
Kevin Durant didn’t do it alone. Russell Westbrook was right there with Durant shredding the hearts of Grizz fans in that triple-overtime, game four win during the 2011 postseason. Making big shot after big shot in the OTs, Westbrook found himself at 40 points at the end of the third overtime, resulting in a momentum shifting game four win for the Thunder. Westbrook was there every step of the way helping Durant fend off the Grizz in each matchup they had whether it was regular season or post-season. In fact, when the Grizz met up with the Thunder again in the 2013 playoffs, they were without Westbrook (injury), which resulted, of course, in the Grizzlies’ advancement to their first conference finals in team history. So for that, Westbrook warrants a seven instead of an eight. Oh yeah, and Westbrook didn’t join the Warriors this offseason, so yeah, a seven.
In the words of Kat Stratford “Mostly I hate the way I don't hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.”
I love Russell Westbrook, unless he’s playing Memphis. The way he plays basketball is so violently beautiful. He is going to be an absolute monster this season if he can stay healthy, and I look forward to seeing him off the ball more as well; Oladipo/Westbrook/Payne on the perimeter would be fun to watch and would allow for full Westbrook mayhem in transition, at least.
I very much respect the basketball ability of Manu Ginobili. Let me be clear about that. He has an incredibly storied, Hall of Fame career, and I hope that the end of his career is successful for him.
But also, he is a top two flopper of all time and I dislike him strongly for that. Do you remember his Tony-nominated performance in the 2011 playoffs? So glad he didn’t win. Flopping is unforgivable, so I give him a seven which I equate to frustrated consternation.
Ginobili really doesn’t bother me at all. He is one of the best second round picks in NBA history, stayed with one team his whole career, and finally came to terms with his balding (he shaved his head—thank god). I just can’t have much hate for Manu Ginobili. He is on the Spurs though, and I know one thing: I don’t like the Spurs, especially after what they did to the Grizz in the opening round of the playoffs last year—I mean yikes. So for that, Ginobili receives a three from me on the Grizz Hater Index.
Manu was one of the most innovative players of his generation. He was a spark of creativity for a Spurs team that was often as boring as it was unbeatable. He can be annoying—but also he slapped a bat out of mid-air.
I am a lame hater. I don't dislike Manu either, or the Spurs as a whole. They are just about everything that is right about professional sports (no one is perfect of course) and they destroyed Memphis in the playoffs last season in the classiest way you can. I tip my cap.
Serial Grizz killer.
Kevin Martin I also don’t have a problem with. He’s got one of the most unorthodox looking jump shots in the game, but it goes in, so I can respect that. In terms of what he’s done to the Grizzlies, it really isn’t much. The Grizz did almost acquire Martin during the trade deadline last season, but that not falling through is no reason for me to hate the guy. Martin did some damage to the Grizz during their 2013 playoff matchup against the Thunder when he stepped up for the injured Westbrook. We won that series though and advanced to the Conference Finals, so no hate here from me.
Kevin Martin doesn't even deserve this many words.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Regular season OKC doesn’t rile me up like postseason OKC. I may like Westbrook and Durant (though I guess that doesn’t really make a difference anymore ¯\_(ツ)_/¯), but the rest of their team is uberly hate-able. Steven Adams? 10. Enes Kanter? 9. Cameron Payne? ...ok, I can’t do that to one of Memphis’ own, but you get the picture.
Yes the Thunder are responsible for a good amount of the heartbreaking losses the Grizzlies have taken over the years, but that trend may be coming to an end without KD on the roster. Russell Westbrook is still Russell Westbrook, but if Memphis can lock in on defense with Westbrook, then it might be some time before the Grizzlies take another heartbreaking loss from OKC.
My first 10! I dislike that fan base as much as anything in the NBA. CULTURE! Bleh. Get out of here with that phony, obedient nonsense. I hope the team sucks, Russ gets traded, and those people go back to watching college football and gossiping about the real reason Jan hasn't been at Sunday school lately. Spoiler alert: I suspect nose job.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are like a nemesis that you’ve fought against so many times that, though you hate them, you a little bit enjoy reenacting another chapter in the rivalry because you respect the way they compete. Very un-Clippers. So I give them a six, which I equate with intense irritation.
The Spurs dismantled the Grizz in every way possible last post-season as they swept the Grizz 4-0 in the first round. Yes the roster looked much different back then because of all the injuries Memphis had, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Spurs embarrassed the Grizzlies on national television throughout all four games. So until we get our revenge on the almighty Spurs, I’m sticking with this high rating of an eight.
They would've been a 3 but LaMarcus Aldridge is annoying and Tim Duncan is gone.
(See Manu Ginobili)
I aspire to work for the national media, so a no comment may be in my best interest. (Buuuuuuuut: ESPN always underrates Memphis, so eight; TNT always overrates Memphis, so three; NBA TV is usually spot on, so five. Average of five).
The National Media’s perception of the Memphis Grizzlies has never been good. Every media outlet seems to always overlook the Grizzlies because of their lack of offense or lack of pace, but that’s drawing away from the fact that Memphis has been able to stay relevant in today’s newer, faster NBA. What I mean by that is, yes, Memphis plays with a slow, ‘Grit n Grind’, style of play—which usually doesn’t generate many points—but the team is still able to stay relevant with this scheme of playing slower when everyone else is trying to be faster. The stats are there to support that notion as the Grizzlies have made the playoff six straight times, a streak that trails only the Hawks (nine straight times) and Spurs (19 straight times). The amount of hate the Grizz get from the National Media for not being able to score/play with a faster pace doesn’t make much sense considering for the past six seasons Memphis has made the playoffs every year.
To the extent they don't like us it's only because we are boring due to style of play and stability of the core of the roster. I'm a Grizzlies fan so I’ll see at least every minute of almost every game but we are kinda boring from a neutral perspective. When we were making our run to the WCF we were internet darlings. The biggest of the big voices might be ignorant about the Grizzlies but they're ignorant about pretty much everything.
My frustration with the national media is based in a fundamental understanding that Memphis and the Grizzlies are not a priority of theirs. I would appreciate honesty instead of just saying a team that you almost certainly never watch isn't good. Memphis isn't a sexy national team - I get that. But say something along the lines of "hey, Memphis can play with anyone when healthy", or something like that. Broad is better than constantly underselling a team that, in terms of recent playoff appearances, is among the most successful in the NBA.
Los Angles Clippers
(These guys get their own section)
The entire franchise
There are two organizations that I intensely, intensely hate. One is the University of Alabama—and I don’t mean just the football team, I mean all of it—which stems from my Auburn fanhood. The other is the Los Angeles Clippers. My blood pressure is rising already, and I’ve only written three sentences, none of which have even been about why I hate them. But ohhhhhhhhh myyyyyyy goodness I hate them. A ten point scale cannot contain my ire. 11. 11!!! Boo, I say, boo! Be gone, foul demons! (I am now realizing I cannot make any logical statements about the Clippers, so I’m just going to stop writing now).
Where do I start? I mean I guess the real question is where do I want to start? I cannot stand the Clippers franchise—cannot. stand. them. After facing the same team two years in a row in the first round of the playoffs (2012, 2013), tensions on each side only grew greater and greater. Whenever the Grizzlies and Clippers squared off, you knew it was going to be a hard fought, physical, down-to-the-wire game. From Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph getting into it, to Chris Paul making unreal game winners, and to the whole entire Staples Center crowd chanting ‘Z-Bo Sucks!’ while he was at the free-throw line, I developed a strong hate for the Clippers, thus why they warrant the maximum ten on the Grizz Hater Index. Also growing up in Los Angeles surrounded by countless Clipper fans taunting you after their Game 7 road win (2012) in the Grindhouse didn’t help, so a ten it is.
I still hate them but I'd be lying if I said it was as strong as it once was. A playoff series would easily change that. While he's certainly an upgrade from his racist predecessor, I really hate Steve Ballmer. Hey, anyone is better than Donald. Am I right, America!? Um, I mean Clippers fans!?
Here is where my respectfulness ends. I can't stand the Clippers. They are the Dallas Cowboys of the NBA, but at least the Cowboys won something in the past. They are perennially over-hyped, they have one of the worst "best" players in the NBA in DeAndre Jordan, and they just are not good to the fan in me. My logical brain can see them being good, and of course they are, but in every match-up with the Grizzlies I will take Memphis (unless there are injury issues like last season) because LA just isn't very tough in my opinion. Bring me your hate.
I’m going to do my best not to rant like a lunatic, but if I do, I just want to apologize ahead of time. But Chris Paul is abominable. I want to throw things at the TV when I see him. He doesn’t even have to be playing the Grizzlies for me to wish ill upon him during games. He could be the nicest guy ever off the court—don’t care. I hope someone drops a bucket of molasses on his head at a very inconvenient time. I hope he randomly develops a visibly horrifying allergic reaction to his favorite food. I hope he has to receive a shot with a long, sharp needle and an extremely thick serum, just to find out he was misdiagnosed. I can go on. Really, I could. I hope he runs on a wild goose chase looking for the perfect present for his son, and not only finds out that someone already gave him that gift, but that he forgot his son’s birthday. I hope that he (harmlessly) loses his child in the mall. I hope that he innocently clicks on a pop-up that turns into a virus which takes over his computer, locking him out fifteen minutes before the biggest presentation of his career. I can go all day. But in the interest of space and time, I won’t.
Chris Paul is a great guy. I love Chris Paul as a person. As a Grizzlies fan though, you really cannot be too fond of Chris Paul the player. I mean let’s be honest, Chris Paul is what makes this Clippers train go. He’s the reason for their epic game one comeback win against the Grizz in 2012 and subsequently he was the reason for their game seven win in the Grindhouse later in that series. So Chris Paul the person gets a huge two thumbs up from me, but Chris Paul the player warrants him a nine on the Grizz Hater Index because of all the heartbreak he has caused me.
Love his game, but he is the worst. Petulant, whiny little fella who somehow avoids the admittedly absurd no rings criticism. If his career ends without a single conference finals appearance that would make me very happy.
I hate this guy so much I won’t even admit he’s a good basketball player. Because he isn’t. He has one discernible skill, and that is jumping. I do not care that he has developed a jump shot, or that he can pass the basketball, or that he occasionally will run an unstoppable pick and roll with DeAndre Jordan. He is only good at one thing, and that thing is jumping, and although that talent leads to good dunks, hold on, because I’m getting to that.
Has there ever been a less deserving Dunk Contest Champion than Griffin? That dunk contest deserves an asterisk, because Griffin should not have even made it out of the first round. His dunks sucked. He was legitimately the worst dunker in that competition. JaVale McGee, Serge Ibaka, and DeMar DeRozan all had WAY better dunks than him. Then, after he absconded with a trip to the final, he jumped over the hood of a car—not even impressive, watch these two dudes flipping over the top of THREE cars—and won the thing. Travesty. A doggone travesty. I hate you Blake Griffin, and your Kia commercials suck.
Remember in the 2012 and 2013 playoffs where just about every time down the court there would be an altercation between Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph? Those confrontations are how my hate towards Griffin started. I remember being at a couple of the games in Los Angeles, and just about every play down the court Griffin and Randolph would get tied up. Officials would come in trying to break it up as the crowd chanted, ‘Z-Bo Sucks!’ ‘Z-Bo Sucks!’ To me Griffin always looked like the initiator in their altercations, as it seemed he was trying to get under Z-Bo’s skin, looking for any advantage he could. I cannot respect that. Also Griffin had his share of flops during that time too, which I also cannot respect, so I hand Griffin an eight on the Grizz Hater Index.
Blake is a revolutionary flopper. He flops on real fouls by taking a small hit and launching himself through the air. I suspect he's probably a jerk but he's into comedy stuff, and he’s friends with Jean-Ralphio, so only a five.
Ralph Lawler, a.k.a. “Oh me, Oh my,” guy
He ruined a perfectly good, if arcane, saying. Now I can’t in good conscience use it. That irritates me on very specific occasions. Six.
I love Ralph Lawler, but more importantly, I respect Ralph Lawler as a commentator. Sure his “Oh me, Oh my” saying gets old after hearing it in every Clippers game but you also have to respect greatness. Ralph Lawler has dedicated basically his entire life to commentating Clippers games. He first started as a commentator for the Clips back in 1978, which is unbelievable. Also this past March, Lawler was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. So, giving credit where credit is due, Lawler is a legend in the commentating game, thus my reason for giving him a two on the Hater Index. (Would have given him a one, but he still does work for the Clippers).
I want to go higher here, but I only remember how mean he was that one time a long time ago, so only an eight.
Anyone who talks that poorly about the city of Memphis like T.J. Simers did while he was covering the Clippers playoff series against the Grizz warrants a ten on the Grizz Hater Index for me. Simers called the city a ‘rat hole’ when he was in Memphis and went on to suggest that when going out in Memphis one should wear a ‘bulletproof vest because it’s so dangerous’. Well that’s basically all the explanation I have (as if I needed more) for giving him a ten on the Grizz Hater Index.
Who is this? Oh yeah, that guy.