While Chris Wallace admitted before the game that he still hasn't spoken to agent Aaron Goodwin, it appears that Damon Stoudamire spoke to the fine folks at Hoopsworld.com prior to the game.
"As a professional you have to always stay ready," Stoudamire told HOOPSWORLD. "You never know when your number's going to be called so therefore you have to always be ready. You want to keep yourself prepared mentally to play, stay and shape, and just be ready. That's what I try to do every day as I got out there and prepare for whatever might happen."
Stoudamire's "do whatever it takes" attitude doesn't seem to fit with Goodwin's claim to the Memphis Commercial Appeal that his client's demotion to the bench was "unacceptable." So what's the real story?
"I think that's why we hire those type of guys," Stoudamire said of his agent. "So they can be the bad guys, so to speak. So I just kind of let him do all the talking. For me, I'm just trying to go out there and, like I said, work hard, keep my condition, make sure everything is tight whether I'm playing here or somewhere else. I'm going to be ready to play. That's my whole mindset right now."
Stoudamire may pay Goodwin to speak for him, but he has plenty to say for himself. When asked if he wanted to play for the Grizzlies, Stoudamire said, "I want to play [with] whoever's going to let me play. I just want to play basketball."
If winning means going to the bench, the Grizzlies believe Stoudamire will take the move in stride. Head coach Marc Iavaroni is not concerned with Stoudamire's efforts in wake of a demotion -- "We've talked about it. I'm not worried about it at all," Iavaroni said -- and values Stoudamire's contributions to the team.
"Damon's been great from training camp on," he said. "He's helped the young kids by the way he's conducted himself, also by his talk on the court and in the locker room."
Conley is grateful for what he has learned from Stoudamire. He credits his "good buddy" for his progress during his rookie year and swears there is no tension between the two.
In other words, I can stand by my earlier stance that Aaron Goodwin is a typical agent and Damon isn't a troublemaker. I still hope that the Grizzlies can get something decent in return (expiring contract & 2nd round pick or a young player stuck on the bench) and agree with owner Michael Heisley's stance that a buyout is unacceptable....although I suspect we have different agendas when reaching that conclusion. I just hope that this doesn't drag out and become a distraction for a young team that seems to be finding itself finally.