MEMPHIS – Day one of Grizzlies training camp and a familiar face, on the floor at the Forum.
Ja Morant was a full go Tuesday after receiving the news that he could practice and travel with the Grizzlies as he serves out that 25-game suspension.
After months staying out of the spotlight, Morant got his work in and more importantly, he was around his teammates and coaches. Teammates and coaches excited to see Morant in the mix.
“I mean, he’s a superstar, megastar, whatever you want to call it. He’s that. So it’s all about him just getting his mental right. People talking to him, being around the group,” said Grizzlies guard Derrick Rose. “I know there are some situations in there from when I was injured and I wasn’t playing. They made sure that I was around the group because of my presence. Same thing here where his presence, him talking to him, just learning the game every day is going. He’s going to keep progressing. He’s in the right direction.”
“Obviously it’s going to be frustrating that we don’t have him for the first 25. But we know that. It’s the reality. We have to move forward,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. “We just got to be focused on just bringing that energy every single day and he’s been great at it and we’re going to hold him to that because we’re gonna have him doing extra work to stay ready when game 26 rolls around.”
So a good first day for the Grizzlies. New and old.
Marcus Smart and Derrick Rose getting their feet wet in the Beale Street blue, just a little over three weeks from opening night. As a matter of fact, Desmond Bane said this first day was tougher than years past.
“Today was the most intense one I’ve been a part of, you know, rightfully so. I mean, we’ve all been here and we have our goals. They’re lofty goals,” Bane said. There’s only one way to reach them and that’s working and getting on the same page. So I think that coach did a great job of setting the table today.”