Why The Memphis Grizzlies Shouldn’t Blow It Up

Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /
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Why They Run It Back

What is necessary to recognize is that even if, on paper, a team like the New York Knicks is closer to contention than the Memphis Grizzlies because of things like KP’s ceiling, impending cap room, upcoming high lottery picks, and a glamour market, in reality, the two teams are not in the same universe. While the culture in New York is toxic, the culture in Memphis is strong, consistent, and unmistakable. 

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There is no possible value that can be placed on culture. It is priceless. When talent mixes with a strong culture, good things happen. Even when a team loses. 

After the Grizzlies season ended, Conley was asked about whether he thought he proved people wrong over the course of the series. His response (which came after he noted multiple times how much of a pleasure it was to play with his teammates throughout this season) was telling:

"“At the end of the day…it’s not on my agenda to prove people wrong, just to prove the ones that believe in me right.”"

That an NBA player in 2017 would utter such words after a devastating playoff loss is rare. That he would say it after a series in which he was head and shoulders the best Grizzly on the court is why he deserves every penny of his deal. It is why the Grizzlies are the Grizzlies, and why they should not, like some are suggesting, blow it up in favor of the unknown.

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As long as you have a culture that fosters and is fostered by a player like Mike Conley, you hang on to it for dear life. 

The alternative would be…well, it would be almost insane.