MEMPHIS — It was almost a decade ago when the Core Four of Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen gave this city an identity.
Almost a decade ago when Grit and Grind was born, leading to seven straight playoff appearances.
Wednesday, it’s the new look Grizzlies who leave for Orlando, looking to start their own legacy in the Bluff City.
Make no mistake, this team’s young stars, Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Junior have nothing but high praise for what’s come before them in the Beale Street Blue but this is their time.
Time to bridge Grit and Grind to Grizzlies Next Gen and return this franchise to its winning ways and then some.
“What we’re doing now is very special and its own thing,” Jaren Jackson Jr. said. “Grit and Grind was something that carried the city for, seems like forever and I definitely feel the fans feel like that. It’s not something we forget. It’s just something we add a layer on to. That’s what we’re trying to do,” said Jackson.
“We’re trying to make it our own. We get support from those guys like ZBo, TA. Even Marc in his own way because we still have to go out there and try to kill Marc. Same with Mike when he came back. They know we have something special going on. We’re trying to make it our own,” Jackson said.
“We’re not the same team as before. Totally different players but, at the end of the day, we still have that grit to go out and play with that fire,” Ja Morant said. “We get out and run. We’re very young. A new team trying to do the same thing and accomplish more than the past teams.”
Once they arrive in Orlando, the Grizzlies will hold full team workouts for the first time since the NBA season was suspended.