What was supposed to be a very special day for the city of Memphis and the Grizzlies franchise turned into a day that highlighted a somber reality.
On Monday, the Grizzlies hosted a full day of activities memorializing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the amazing work that he did during his life for the Civil Rights Movement.
With a full slate of NBA games Monday, the marquee matchup was supposed to be the New Orleans Pelicans playing against the Grizzlies inside the FedEx Forum. It was anything but that. Sure, it was the only nationally televised game that Memphis will play this season, but it was like every other game for the past month. There was nothing special about it.
Abiding by the routine that the Grizzlies have followed for the better part of two months, they played a first half at the level of their competition and then fell off a cliff in the third quarter. Pelicans star Anthony Davis didn’t even play in the game due to injury, but you would have had to scratch your eyes to make sure that Jahlil Okafor wasn’t a body double who swapped skill with Davis in some sort of terrifying Freaky Friday-Space Jam mashup. New Orleans ended up winning the game by 20 points, with Memphis failing to score even 90 on one of the league’s bottom tier defenses.
The game was announced as a sell out of nearly 18,000, but many fans decided to not endure the second act of a show that they have seen too many times before.
It is not hard to understate why their was a lack of enthusiasm that permeated the “Grind House” on Monday afternoon.
The game against New Orleans aided in showcasing the fact that Memphis will likely maintain their spot as one of the bottom 8 teams in the NBA and have increased odds to keep their top 8 protected first round pick this June – a pick that most were hoping would convey to Boston this year instead of rolling over to either ’20 (top 6 protected) or ’21 (unprotected).
Clearly the construction of the current roster is not fit for the 50 games that Grizzlies’ owner Robert Pera announced was the goal before the season started.
If this current team can’t win, then that only means one (two) thing(s).
Late Tuesday night, while Grizz Facebook was blowing up from tenured season ticket holders threatening to call their rep and drop them on the spot, Woj came in and dropped the largest bomb that #GrindCity has ever experienced.
WHATTTT!!!!! IS THIS REAL LIFE???!!
We have reached a crossroads for this franchise that we all hoped we would never come to, but here we are. It happens to the best of us I suppose. For many fans, Mike and Marc are all that they know. To not have them finish out their years with this franchise would be a travesty. But on the other hand, it now seems like it would be irresponsible to hold on to them when there could be better and brighter pastures for them to finish out their career.
The Grizzlies front office must now be willing to admit something that most of us caught on to back in November. Jaren Jackson Jr. is the future of the franchise and it is now their responsibility to let him begin that journey in proper fashion.
All I ask from the Grizzlies’ front office now is that they be responsible with the next steps that they take, for they could make – or break – the next decade of Memphis Grizzlies basketball.
Feature Image [Getty]