From our GBB family to yours, happy holidays!
31 games in to another NBA Draft Lottery-bound season, the Memphis Grizzlies are at least a heck of a lot more fun to watch than they have been the last two campaigns. That’s definitely something to be thankful for - Ja Morant has been a revelation, Jaren Jackson Jr. is a dominant three point shooter, Brandon Clarke is as efficient a rookie as you will ever find, and despite the record (11-20, on pace to go 29-53) the team has a “must-watch” feel. They’re League Pass darlings, they’re showing signs of growth, they’re doing what needs to be done in year one of a true rebuild.
So what do you wish for for a team this young? I asked our terrific staff at GBB, and here is what they said their Grizzmas wishes were for Memphis.
GBB ASSOCIATE EDITOR PARKER FLEMING- My Grizzmas wish is simple — let’s convey that pick. I’m naturally a draft enthusiast, as I tend to be fascinated by player potential, as well as potential fit. However, I’m finding little-to-no hope in that regard here in this draft. LaMelo Ball would be great for me, a Big Baller, but giving Boston a pick between 7 and 11 would be just as satisfying — a true Grizzmas miracle.”
GBB WRITER GREG LUBIANI- This year, I hope the Grizzlies receive respect from the referees for Grizzmas. This young team is so exciting to watch, at times sacrificing their bodies to make eye-popping plays at the basket. They lead the league with 48.3% of their points scored in the paint, yet are only 27th in free throw attempts per game (20.2). Instead of candy canes, can we just get a few more charity stripes?
GBB SENIOR STAFF WRITER BRANDON ABRAHAM- I want the Grizzlies to receive plenty of draft picks for Christmas. I don’t care if it’s a belated Christmas gift, but I want the Grizzlies to get some picks in exchange for Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and potentially Solomon Hill.
GBB STAFF WRITER BRENDAN SMART- For “Grizzmas” I want the young Grizzlies to continue their progression. I would gift this Grizzlies team a heavy dose of patience. Success isn’t going to come fast, and their going to lose a lot of close games, but maintaining patience in their progression will be the key to taking the next step as a team.
GBB STAFF WRITER DARREN JEANS- This Christmas, I’d love for the Grizzlies to receive one thing, and that is another young wing to paid with JJJ and Ja. I spoke the Ja and JJJ show in existence last year, so here’s to us landing a solid wing to pair with them (Josh Jackson, hopefully) as well!
GBB STAFF WRITER EDMEMPHIS- I wish that the Grizzlies get a 1st rd pick as for Iggy. Also that the Grizzlies add a Ed Memphis song to the arena playlist, I wish Jaren Jackson Jr. develops into an undisputed All-Star caliber player this season (even if he doesn’t get selected to the team this year), and I wish Memphis keeps their 2020 1st round pick (being they will likely be much better next season).
GBB SENIOR STAFF WRITER GREG RATLIFF- For Grizzmas, I want the Grizzlies’ “Big 3” of Jaren, Ja, and Brandon to stay healthy. Lose or win all you want to. Make the playoffs if you want. Just please, PLEASE, stay healthy while doing it.
GBB ASSOCIATE EDITOR JACK NOONAN- For this Grizzmas, I want the Grizzlies to receive a blessing of health for the future. It is crazy to think after all the down seasons, the future is brighter than ever. Ja, Jaren, and Brandon Clarke. Those are three names that will be the building blocks, and all we can wish for them is a healthy development into stardom.
GBB STAFF WRITER JORDAN PETERSON- I want the Grizzlies to get the gift of identity for Christmas. I want the team to roll into January proud of what they’ve established, and eager to remind the league that they’re not relenting any time soon. Fear the youth. Merry Grizzmas!
GBB STAFF WRITER JUSTIN LEWIS- I want the Grizzlies to receive Josh Jackson for Grizzmas. This year is about developing young talent and he falls into that category. He’s proven he doesn’t belong in the G-League. It’s time.
GBB SENIOR STAFF WRITER MCCARTY MAXWELL- I want the Grizzlies to get a return on Iguodala and Jackson, literally anything. I understand keeping them on the sidelines as trade assets, but there has to be a return for that strategy to be worth it. Iguodala has demand for teams that are chasing a playoff spot, and Josh Jackson is a lengthy, athletic hybrid guard that can be valuable as well. A return of draft picks or a young guard could be a beautiful Grizzmas surprise.
GBB SENIOR STAFF WRITER SHAWN COLEMAN- The Christmas gift that I wish for the Grizzlies is good health. If the roster can remain healthy, it means the roster has as much chance as possible to get better together. It also allows for the true impact this young core has been making to be realized, through the recognition at the All-Star Break and end of season awards. This franchise, city, and the fan base deserve as much positive momentum as possible, and the rest of this year could be a big boost for the future.
GBB SITE MANAGER JOE MULLINAX- I wish for the fan base of the Memphis Grizzlies to maintain perspective all season long. No more playoff dreams dancing in your heads. No more calls for firing coaches or trading Jaren Jackson Jr. (yes, someone actually said that just about six weeks ago). Just let this team be what they were always going to be - bad, fun, and worth creating memories with. When they’re good again - and maybe it’s sooner than we all thought it would be - it will make that success that much sweeter.
I hope that you have the merriest of Christmases, the happiest of Hanukkahs, the kindest of Kwanzaas (which begins Thursday), and overall the best holiday season possible. Rest, reflect, and don’t worry - while we (barring breaking news) are taking a brief breather for Christmas, GBB will be back December 26th to continue to cover the next generation of the Memphis Grizzlies as only we can.
Thank you all for making GBB a part of your Grizzlies fan experience. It is you that make the work and time invested in this small corner of the Memphis sports media market more than worthwhile.