I like to think of this question of who is the best Point Guard in the history of the Memphis Grizzlies as one of those barbershop questions. What I mean by that is there’s really no right, or wrong, answer. It’s strictly your opinion. Which is what makes rankings, and best of topics so divisive, yet so fun. So let’s get to it.
Here you have it, my top 5 PGs to ever wear a Grizzlies uniform.
5. Bobby Jackson
Bobby Jackson, to me, is the greatest back up point guard that the Grizzlies have ever had. Period. How long have we been trying to find a backup point guard? Don’t bother answering. I’ll tell you. Ever since Bobby Jackson left. Though he was only here for one year, he averaged 11 points and three assists per game. What Grizzlies fans would do now to have a backup point guard average those numbers today. Especially with an aging Mike Conley, and a now injured Javon Carter. Because of his vital role off the bench, and being the first real backup point guard we’ve ever had, Bobby Jackson lands himself as the #5 best PG to wear a Grizzlies uniform.
4. Damon Stoudemire
To me, signing Damon Stoudemire proved that Memphis could land a free agent. Notice, I didn’t say land a “big time” free agent. Just a free agent. Period. If you remember, he chose Memphis over the Houston Rockets as well. This was huge. Maybe not in Houston, but in Memphis it was. Not only a proven natural leader and seasoned vet, he was also pretty good at being a basketball player. He was coming off his best season statistically as a Trailblazer, and was going to have to fill in for a departing Jason Williams. Though Stoudamire didn’t have the flash that J-Will provided us, his numbers were comparable, if not better. Because of his on court contributions, and being the first recognizable free agent to WANT to come to Memphis, he finds himself as the #4 best PG to wear a Grizzlies jersey.
3. Mike Bibby
He may have never played a game in Memphis. But boy, was he good in Vancouver. Playing for three seasons in Vancouver, they knew they had their point guard of the future in Mike Bibby. Bibby, along with Shareef Abdur-Rahim, seemed to provide Vancouver with the building blocks to make a nice, young core for the future. That was until the franchise found itself right here in Memphis, Tennessee. Coming off a season where he averaged 16 points and 8 assists, he was traded to the Sacramento Kings for a disgruntled Jason Willliams.
Speaking of JWill...
2. Jason Williams
J-Will. AKA White Chocolate. My favorite point guard of all time. Most Grizzlies fans my age grew up watching Jason Williams. When I was younger, my primary position was also point guard. I modeled myself after him, the way I dribbled the ball, the way I tried to make every pass flashy, even the black knees pads right under his knee caps.
I can remember how he would let the ball roll almost to the half court line, daring his opponent to try to steal it away. When the Grizzlies made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, Jason Williams was their starting point guard. Then they were swept. Twice. But that’s not important. Honestly, if you wanted to argue that he is the greatest PG in Grizzlies history, I wouldn’t argue with that.
1. Mike Conley
Captain Clutch. Mike Conley did what Jason Williams couldn’t do. He won the franchise’s first playoff game. As if that wasn’t enough, he then helped usher in the franchises first playoff series win. As if that wasn’t enough, he then took the franchise to its first ever Confernce Finals. I like to think of it as he picked up right where Jason Williams left off. If you were like me, you thought Kyle Lowry would win the starting job over Conley because of his slow development. Well, was I wrong there. And honestly, I’m ok with being wrong on that one.
I’ve enjoyed watching him grow right in front of our eyes, and become the player he is today. Though he’s never been an All-Star, he lands himself on MY list as the #1 PG to play for the Grizzlies.