Thursday, July 3, 2008

Blowed Up Sir!

Earlier this year MemphisX wrote an insitghtful blog about the need to blow up the team and start over. At last Friday's press conference introducing OJ Mayo and Darrell Arthur to the Memphis community, owner Michael Heisley made reference to the team blowing up what had been built to rebuild from the ground up. Well now it is summer and things have changed more than a bit.

Guess who is the most veteran Grizzlies player today?

I suppose more than a few of you realize that 3rd year pro Hakim Warrick now has more seniority on the team than anyone else. He is the only player to have actually worn the Grizzlies team uniform in a playoff game. He was also the player chosen after Jerry West stormed out of the draft war room leaving his selection up to Tom Penn. Tom's reasoning for drafting Warrick was that someone would want to trade for him. Well Hakim is still on the roster. Everyone else left instead.

Funny how things work out differently than planned.

After years of criticism at the Grizzlies front office for it's failure to improve the team after the 50 win season, Chris Wallace has rid the Grizzlies of every shred of the 50 win team from it's roster. No one remains from the first two playoff teams in Grizzlies history unless you count announcers and sales staff. In fact Eric Hasseltine may be the most veteran member of the Grizzlies team.

Now I have mentioned previously that players leaving Memphis didn't correlate into a more satisfying careers. JWill has struggled with injuries, Bonzi had one semi-successful season in Sacramento for torpedoing his own career by turning down a $26 million contract, Shane Battier has yet to play in a 2nd round playoff team despite moving to a highly talented Houston team and don't even get me started on Earl Watson, Chucky Atkins or Damon Stoudamire but the ex-Grizzlies also have 3 championship rings now and a NBA Finals appearance on their resumes. Memphis is 0-12 in the playoffs.

What does Memphis have after the fallout from the most recent house cleaning?
It is quite probable that Memphis will roll out a starting lineup this season where not one single player is over 24 yrs old. Is is possible that the Grizzlies could start a game with no one over 22 years of age! Conley, Mayo, Gay, Arthur and Gasol would consist of 5 players whose oldest member won't turn 24 until January 29th and Darko is even younger than Gasol!

So obviously the team doesn't know what they are going to have when these players hit their primes. That gives the Grizzlies some time to figure out who they believe will be contributing at that age and who won't be. It allows the team some time to make the neccessary moves to take the team from 22 wins a season to 52 or more. Three years is what it took New Orleans to go from 18 wins to 56 wins. It has happened before and it can happen again. New Orleans acquired the steal of the draft in Chris Paul (2nd guard chosen) after trading their best two players from the previous season (Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn) for assumed junk. Memphis has now traded their best two players from the previous season (Miller and Gasol) for supposed junk and has acquired a player some feel could be the steal of the draft in OJ Mayo (the 2nd guard taken).

Whether or not the team follows the path set by the Hornets and continues to invest in the team (New Orleans signed Tyson Chandler, Peja Stojakovic and Morris Petterson after the Paul draft) or continues to rely heavily on the draft for their player acquisitions has yet to be determined. What is known is that the old Memphis Grizzlies are now officially blown up.

And that's the fact Jack!

BallHype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

I think you meant Chucky Atkins, not Chucky Brown.

Chip Crain said...


Thanks. I will get that corrected.

Anonymous said...

The link to MemphisX's blog post doesn't seem to be working for me.

Chip Crain said...

Thanks. I fixed the link.

Anonymous said...

Blew, not blowed...

roland lazenby said...

Why did West storm out of the room?