Grizzlies excited about the future for the NextGen Grizz

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Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts after an assist to center Jonas Valanciunas (17) in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

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MEMPHIS — Back from the bubble with days to lock back at what can only be described as a great first year of the Grizzlies rebuild, the team’s top brass met the media for exit interviews on Wednesday.

Head Coach Taylor Jenkins and Executive Vice President Zach Kleiman addressed a number of topics including a successful season for a team no one talked much about at the beginning of the season but one that now looks to have a very bright future behind soon to be Rookie of the Year Ja Morant.

Did the Grizzlies overachieve?

Of course they did but it’s much more than that.

“I’m just proud of what we did achieve,” Jenkins said.  “When we built this team at the outset, it wasn’t in terms of results as in playoffs.  It wasn’t record based or anything like that.  It’s are we going to create a culture and a style of play and a style of work that we can be proud of.  That we know this is the foundation,” said Jenkins. “Themes that I always talked about from day one about competing, playing together and getting better, I think our guys really embraced that.  For me,  that’s my greatest takeaway.  We achieved that.”

Memphis is also home to two of the NBA’s top rookies.

That’s right…two.

While we all know Morant is a future star, Kleiman actually believes the Grizzlies have the league’s two best rookies.

No offense Zion. 

“I’m still kind of at a loss of how Brandon slipped to 21st in the draft.  Here we are at the end of the season and I’m at a loss for how Brandon wasn’t a finalist for Rookie of the Year,” Kleiman said. “I don’t see how that’s not Ja one, Brandon two.  Maybe people are still not paying enough attention to what’s happening here in Memphis.”

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