The countdown is on! With the NBA season officially under way, GBB is getting you ready with the Hater’s Guide, a 100% sarcastic breakdown of all 30 teams.
As a note, these guides are meant to be fully satirical and humorous. As such, nothing contained within these should be taken seriously.
Team: It’s time. We’ve hated everyone else. Now it’s time to hate our own beloved Grizzlies.
2017-18 Record: 22-60. Let’s take a look at the team’s most memorable highlight.
Oh, yes, please inject that play straight into my veins. If you needed one play to represent the Grizzlies season, this was it. Just look at the absolute DISGUST on JB’s face. I cannot watch this play without laughing.
Their Superstar: I don’t usually do this, but for the Grizzlies we’ll give them the honor of having two superstars, both of which are on the wrong side of 30, both of which are on giant contracts, and both of which have significant questions. Behold, ladies and gentlemen, the final remaining members of the Core Four. Will Marc Gasol finally deliver on his Spanish offseason interviews and demand a trade? Will Mike Conley manage to go more than half a season without fracturing some bone or other? Who knows!
Every team needs some measure of health to succeed, but health is the ONLY thing determining what the Grizzlies can do. Sure, Marc carried this team for a few games while Mike was out back in 2016, but those days are over. If either of these guys go down, the Grizzlies are going straight down the toilet, just like last season. If there’s a bright side, it’s that they won’t be quite as terrible as last season because McLemore is gone.
The much sadder side of the health coin is that even if Mike and Marc are completely healthy, they’re not vastly raising the ceiling of this team. The West has the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, Jazz, Pelicans, and LeBron James. The Grizzlies path to 50 wins in this conference includes a clean bill of health and several terrible injuries
Also, if the Grizzlies tank again, I would put money on Marc opting out of the last year of that contract next season. MAXIMUM CHAOS.
What’s New to Hate: Welcome new franchise cornerstone, Jaren Jackson, Jr. I’m pretty sure the vast majority of fans were underwhelmed with this pick, at least until he turned into Steph Curry in his first Summer League game. It seemed like the Grizzlies were destined to miss out on a star, but JJJ appears to be the real deal. He looks like the sort of versatile center who fits in the modern NBA. I hope Memphis fans are prepared for the Grizzlies to waste his prime by being completely unable to find perimeter talent to put around him.
Let’s all bid a warm Memphis welcome to Kyle Anderson, AKA Slo Mo, who is, honestly, the perfect Grizzly. He can’t shoot, and he moves like he just ate ten cubic tons of BBQ nachos. In case you missed this offseason, the Grizzlies offered Anderson their full mid-level exception for four years, which the Spurs almost immediately declined to match. Considering the Spurs also lost Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard this offseason, that should raise MASSIVE red flags. The Spurs would rather overpay Rudy Gay than pay $8 million a season for this guy. If that doesn’t make you feel like vomiting, I don’t know what will!
The Grizzlies finally listened to me and signed Omri Casspi. Unfortunately, this comedic move came about five years too late. I’m guessing Casspi will see absolutely no consistent playing time except in blowouts. Remember, he was seen as so useless that he was left off the Warriors postseason roster in favor of guys like Nick Young. That seems like a bad sign.
Garrett Temple is here because, as my friend Keith over at Fastbreak Breakfast joked, Casspi demanded that they bring in a Temple for him.
Apparently Casspi wouldn’t report to Memphis unless they got him a Temple— Fastbreak Breakfast (@fastbreakbreak) July 17, 2018
(My theory is that it’s to make up for having to play so near a pyramid.) Temple is a great guy off the court. He’s also coming from Sacramento and will look vastly superior to the last former King the Grizzlies acquired.
Oh, they also signed Yuta Watanabe to a two-way contract solely to monopolize the Japanese market. You cannot convince me otherwise.
A lot has been made about the way this offseason went compared to the prior offseason. Last year they wanted players with “upside,” which basically means players who suck but might not suck if they weren’t in Sacramento. Since that worked out horribly, they did a complete 180 and went with “high IQ” players.
This sounds great in theory, until you realize you’re putting a bunch of role players around a pair of aging, declining players who weren’t that prolific offensively anyway. I guess the front office thought, “Hey, if we have 15 players that average 10 points a game, we should average 150 points a game.” That’s how math works, right?! On the bright side, at least this means I’m not going to have to watch the Ben McLemore Comedy of Errors on a nightly basis.
What We’ve Always Hated: It’s going to fly under the radar right now thanks to the fact that Minnesota has monopolized the dysfunction headlines, but the fact Memphis front office is sneaky incompetent. Chris Wallace is somehow still employed in spite of not trading Tyreke Evans at the deadline. They eschewed a full-blown coaching search to hire JB Bickerstaff because their star players (who are both on the wrong side of 30) said they liked him. No one has any idea who’s making the decisions in the front office. I bet they decide who makes decisions by drawing names out of a hat.
On the bright side, the ownership decision is cleared up. Robert Pera stated his commitment to keeping the team in Memphis. I’m sure he’s as committed to that as he is to attending more than one game per decade.
Let’s also not forget their track record of player evaluation. The Grizzlies appear to have hit a home run with JJJ, and Dillon Brooks appears to be competent, but even that doesn’t change the fact that they’re draft record is ABYSMAL. I wrote an article all but proving that a random number generator could draft better than the Grizzlies. Look at this list of garbage and try not to puke.
They’ve been just as terrible at adding talent outside of the draft. They wasted the best years of the Core Four by failing to add anything better than Courtney Lee. Their only successful backup point guard (Mario Chalmers) had his Achilles explode. They signed Chandler Parsons without realizing that his knees were actually made of string cheese. Just last offseason they willingly paid Ben McLemore $5 million and then had to use a draft pick to get off of his contract. Vince Carter spent the first two seasons of his contract looking washed.
Honestly, there’s no greater indictment of Memphis’ free agency history than the fact that their signing of players that aren’t gaping black holes is viewed as a massive success. Enjoy fighting for the seventh seed, folks, because that’s the best you can hope for this year.
A Grizzly You May Have Forgotten: Instead of a player, let’s remember the first-round draft pick that the Grizzlies still owe to the Celtics. This was the draft pick that the Grizzlies traded to get Jeff Green. Jeff Green hasn’t played for this team in 3 years, and yet the dark cloud of his presence still lingers over the franchise.