Holding grudges can suck the life out of you. Often times the one holding the grudge is the only one still even thinking about the past scenario.
Some mistakes are made out of character and deserve forgiveness, some people just hurt other people. The Bible tells us to basically continue to forgive people as often as they offend you when it says “I say to you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22)
Forgiving is not the same thing as forgetting and restoring full trust in someone that has shown the character of hurting you. You can forgive, but you don’t have to forget and set yourself up to be hurt again, you protect yourself.
This Memphis Grizzlies front office has shown their character over the years. A character that cannot be trusted, lest we bet hurt again and again.
Can people change their ways? Absolutely! There is hope for redemption for everyone. But behavior modification does not always equal character correction. Knowing the right thing to do does not mean it is done with the right motive.
It could be said that the Grizzlies front office starting with the drafting of Jaren Jackson Jr. up until this past trade deadline, have acted out of character.
Chris Wallace’s first act started off grand. In the 2007 NBA Draft he took the best player available in Mike Conley Jr. and that clearly panned out. Following all drafts is the free agency period. It didn't take long for the head scratchers to come.
2007 Free Agent Signings
Darko Millicic, Andre Brown, Casey Jacobsen.
In other words, Who?
Everyone knows Darko as the guy drafted after Lebron and before Carmelo, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, and that's the only reason his name resonates.
If that wasn't bad enough, Wallace traded a future first round pick for a guy who was drafted 5 years earlier and lasted one year in the league. While Juan Carlos Navarro was a lot of fun to watch, he wasn't worth a future first.
2008 Trade Deadline
His first trade deadline changed the foundation of this franchise and I dare say shook it to its core. Wallace sent Pau Gasol and a future 2nd round pick to the Lakers for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the draft rights to Marc Gasol, a 2008 first round pick and a 2010 first round pick.
If Marc did not turn in to what he did, this would've been the biggest heist in NBA history. I honestly don't know how David Stern blocks Chris Paul to LA but not this one.
Wallace then traded fan favorite Stromile Swift to the Nets for Jason Collins.
2008 NBA Draft
The Grizzlies had the 5th pick in this draft and Wallace took Kevin Love and paired him with Mike Miller, Jason Collins, Brian Cardinal for OJ Mayo, Greg Buckner, Marko Jaric, and Antoine Walker. Maybe at the moment it made sense, but looking back: highway robbery.
With the pick he received from the Lakers, he took Donte Greene (who?) over the likes of DeAndre Jordan, Mario Chalmers, Goran Dragic, and Nikola Pekovic. So instead of drafting one of those players, he took Greene and eventually turned him into Darrell Arthur. Still an underwhelming return for the best player in franchise history at that time.
There is obviously no way that I could go through each season from his first until now and break it down like that. You would either quit reading because of the pain or need a new phone because you threw yours into traffic.
So here are just some of the big blunders, in case you forgot. Remember, we may can forgive, but we should not forget, lest we be hurt again.
2009 Hasheem Thabeet needs no introduction, nor to be remembered.
2010 Xavier Henry (KANSAS) over Eric Bledsoe
2011 1st round pick was traded for Ronnie Brewer (not even Corey Brewer) and Josh Selby (yes, KANSAS) was taken in the second round over Isaiah Thomas
2012 Tony Wroten, Dominique Jones, and Greivis Vasquez were all taken over Draymond Green, Jae Crowder, Khris Middleton and Will Barton
2013 1st round pick was traded to Houston years prior for Shane Battier and Ish Smith (the price to pay to rid yourself of Thabeet I suppose). That pick became Andre Roberson, but could've been Rudy Gobert.
2014 Jordan Adams (ANALYTICS!) over Rodney Hood, Clint Capela, Nikola Jokic, Jordan Clarkson
2015 Jarrell Martin was taken over a few other guys that have become NBA rotation players but this one wasn't awful, Martin just didn't pan out.
2016 Wade Baldwin over Caris LaVert, Malik Beasley, Pascal Siakam, Dejounte Murray, Malcolm Brogdon (yikes)
2017 No first round pick, but traded 2018 second rounder for Dillon Brooks and 2019 second rounder for Ivan Rabb
So in summary: Thabeet, Henry, Wroten, Vasquez, Adams are all no longer even in the league while Martin and Baldwin are at the ends of benches.
Wallace has also not been able to attract any free agent of note outside of Chandler Parsons and that may only be because other teams knew his knees were failing him and wouldn't offer him the money. The Grizzlies have also not hired a head coach with experience during Wallace’s tenure. In 11 years the Grizzlies have had 7 different head coaches. The instability is unsettling and will be why the better coaches and players do not want to come to Beale Street.
Look at the track record. Look at the total body of work. Yes this front office drafted a future star in Jaren Jackson Jr. this season. Yes they turned Marc Gasol into Delon Wright, CJ Miles, and Jonas Valanciunas, three players that could be vital parts of the team going forward. Yes they turned the awful Shelvin Mack into a budding young player in Tyler Dorsey.
But if we are to be short sighted, so quick to forget the decade of head scratching, franchise crippling decisions and allow this front office to continue their reign, we are simply setting ourselves up for more pain.
We don't need out of character decisions, we just need new characters in the office. We can forgive them, thank them for the decisions they made for this team this season but can do that as they pack their bags leaving Beale Street.