I suppose Grizzlies fans should feel proud that the team’s assistant coaches are in such high demand not only around the NBA but in the NCAA as well. It wasn’t that long ago that people talked about the franchise being a minor league run organization. Now teams are scrambling to raid our coaching staff and roster to try and replicate what the Grizzlies have accomplished.
Yesterday Damon Stoudamire moved back to college basketball when he left the Grizzlies for the Tigers. Not a big change of address but a big loss for the Grizzlies. Dave Joerger is rumored to be interviewing with the Houston Rockets and their new coach Kevin McHale. Rumors have been swirling that the Grizzlies will trade Rudy Gay (vehemently denied by Mike Heisley), O J Mayo and even Marc Gasol.
Thanks for the compliments but you can stop now.
Memphis’ success last season was due in a large part to the consistency in the coaching staff and roster. The team brought back the entire coaching staff from the previous season. The team brought back the entire starting lineup from the previous season. The team brought back most of the productive members of the bench (Arthur, Young and even Hasheem Thabeet) from the previous season as well.
Sure changes were made as well. Tony Allen was brougth in as a free agent signee, Greivis Vasquez and Xavier Henry were draft picks, the team brought in Acie Law to help with the transition for Vasquez as well, but for the most part thesameteam that had improvedfrom 24 winsin the 08-09 seasonto 40 wins in the 09-10 season returned and that consistency and chemistry went a long wayin helping the team improve to 46 wins and advance to the Western Conference Semi-finals.
Fans expect the team to continue to develop next season and compete for the division crown, return to the playoffs and possibly advance further than the team did this season in the playoffs. Why shouldn’t they? The Grizzlies are a young team entering their primes as players for the most part and they accomplished so much without Rudy Gay for the last third of the season and the playoffs.
It won’t beeasy. Everyone knows that the Western Conference is overall much deeper than the East. The Golden State Warriors finished 12th in the Western Conference this season but would have beenonly one game out of the playoffs in East.The Grizzlies can’t rest on this past season’s laurels. The team needs to hit the ground running with a focused attitude onimproving on last season’s success.
Now, instead of one big happy family returning, the Grizzlies could find themselves without a liason between the players and the coaches and without the man most responsible for the improvement on the defensive end of the court. The players will have to deal with rumors of being traded all season and that will cause angst as well. On top of the coaching carousel and trade rumors the players will also deal with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the distractions these discussions will have.
And let’s not forget that Zach Randolph is about to have his name besmirched again in the press. Not exactly the summer the team was hoping for after the best post season in franchise history and the 3rd best regular season as well.
So thanks for all the complimentsabout our coaching staff. Now will you please go raid the Heat and Mavs staffs instead and leave us along?