MEMPHIS — For the first time since 2010, the Grizzlies held Media Day Monday at FedExForum without franchise cornerstones Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.
If the Grizz were looking for a motto to put on a growl towel this season, it would be ‘Embrace the Change.’
Thirteen of the twenty players on this year’s training camp roster have never played a single game with the Grizz with Dillon Brooks and Ivan Rabb, your longest tenured Grizzlies entering just their third seasons.
‘Something new’ definitely describes these new look Grizzlies.
“I embrace where I am today. I embrace my new group. I’m all in with the situation, with our young core and rebuilding and stuff like that. I just want to grow with this organization and build a winning brand of basketball here,” said seven year NBA veteran Jae Crowder with new point guard Tyus Jones adding, “with so many new faces, it does make it easier. We’re all new, not all of us, but a lot of us are new to Memphis and trying to figure it out.”
The returning Grizzlies are also excited about this new look team. “I watch a lot of NBA basketball and college basketball so I’ve watched all these guys play and just excited about knowing that you’re going to be next to a guy that competes and is going to give their all. Willing to play hard so that’s really exciting,” said Kyle Anderson.
“You get to show the new guys what it means to be a Memphis Grizzly. To get to see it from late ZBo and Tony Allen, late Mike and Marc. Those guys set a precedent, a high one, and that’s where we gotta be at,” said Brooks.
Most of the attention on Media Day centered on rookie first round pick Ja Morant. “To have that wow moment that you’re really here but I still have my same mindset that I’m not done yet. I feel like I still have a lot more to prove and I’m going to continue to work,” said Morant who also explained why he went to social media a few weeks back to lend a helping hand to Penny Hardaway’s recruiting efforts at the University of Memphis.
“It’s just me showing love back to Memphis. I know they have a special group over there with some special talent coming out of high school this year. If Memphis is on their list, I think that is where they need to go.”