Grizz Thoughts: Ja to dunk only in games, contract talks, and Twitter corner

The Grindfather gives back in the G-League

Last week it was announced that former Grizzly Tony Allen will serve as a player development coach for the Memphis Hustle, the G-League affiliate of the Grizzlies.

The man who coined the phrase “grit-n-grind” will live on in Memphis basketball lore — and I’m not just talking about Grizzlies basketball, but the whole city of Memphis. Even at University of Memphis basketball games, if the jumbotron pans to a shot of TA in the crowd, there is an eruption from the fans. It is clear what he means to the sport of basketball and the city of Memphis, so it is great that he now has an official capacity to keep his ties to the city and the Grizzlies organization. 

Ja Morant announced that he will not participate in this year’s All-Star weekend slam dunk contest. 

Was this the right decision?

We talked about this on our most recent podcast and Mason eluded to the fact that in this day and age, superstars just don’t participate in the dunk contest.

There is no need.

If you think about some of the other guys who have produced meaningful performances in the showcase, like Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon, those are fringe All-Star type players. It appears that Morant’s trajectory is much more than that so to keep on brand, it makes sense to sit this out.

Now if fans want to get their fix of flashy plays, they will have to tune in to the rising stars game where Memphis should have solid representation this season between Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke, and Ja Morant.

Welcome aboard new Grizzlies fans!

If you are reading this and have recently begun the indoctrination into Grizzlies culture, we welcome you with open arms. It appears that Ja mania has brought people from far and wide to a new found interest in the Bluff City Bears.

With limited research online, I was able to pinpoint a handful of new fans from varying backgrounds including international citizens (Germany, Canada), a converted Westbrook fan, a Nashvillian, and a previous Knicks follower. To the guy hopping over from NYK territory, please leave all that bad juju behind.

Morant Moments of the week

Royce O’Neal earns extension from Utah and comping him to Dillon 

To put this extension into a perspective in productivity, we should note that O’Neal is averaging 6 points and 5 rebounds while shooting 43% from three on only a trio of attempts per game. Compared this to Dillon Brooks’ 15 points per game while shooting 39% from deep on 5.6 attempts.

O’Neal is a 3-and-D guy whose biggest impact on the floor comes on the defensive end. Brooks is one of Memphis’ best perimeter defenders in addition to a consistent scorer. We should mentally prepare ourselves now for a fat payday so that we aren’t too shocked when he receives a large offer sheet this summer — that Memphis will likely match. 

Twitter of the week: Kirk Goldsberry loves JJJ

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