30 Teams, 30 Days
Memphis Grizzlies Season Preview.
We continue previewing the Southwest Division with the Memphis Grizzlies. You can read past previews here.
[Inside the Memphis Grizzlies' locker room, three days prior to the regular season opener ...]
Allen Iverson: Bring it in guys! With the season right around the corner, it’s time to have our first team meeting.
We open the season against the Detroit Pistons, and I have something special in store for them.
Rudy Gay: [Loud sigh]
Allen Iverson: What’s that, Rudy?
Rudy Gay: Nothing, Allen. Nothing at all.
Allen Iverson: That’s what I thought, Mr. Gay. Pause.
O.J. Mayo: This will not end well.
Lionel Hollins: Gentlemen. The truth of the matter is that we are a depressingly terrible basketball team. And I believe things are only going to get worse from here on out.
Marc Gasol: Coach, we won 2 more games last season than the previous year. That’s an improvement, no?
Lionel Hollins: That’s true. But you know what else is true, Pepe? Five years ago, this team won 50 games. 50! Last year, we won less than half of that.
Zach Randolph: Well, on the bright side, we’ve added veteran leadership (points to himself with both thumbs) which means we’re not getting any youthier. This is great!
Allen Iverson: Fear not, everyone. The Answer is here. God spoke to me last night, and he said that I’m going to lead this franchise to glory.
Pau Gasol: [Peers into the room, and begins to cackle maniacally]
Lionel Hollins: Do you jokers realize that I have been named the head coach of this sorry team on three different occasions? Isn’t that amazing? And you people wonder why I have developed a drinking problem.
Big Country Reeves: I left a large wad of chew tobacco here a while back. Anyone seen it?
Mike Conley: What I don’t get, to be honest, is the direction this franchise is taking. I mean, judging by last season, we seemed like a team building a nice, little future for ourselves. We had developed a solid core of young leaders, and things only promised to get better this season. But now, man …
Hamed Haddadi: I own a t-shirt with my own name on it!
Shareef Abdur-Rahim: I don’t know how much more of this sh*t I can handle.
Michael Heisley: Yeee-haw! I loves me this team! You guys ready to get out there and win me crap loads of money, err, …, I mean basketball games?!
Allen Iverson: Mr. Heisley, I will not let you down. I’m going to teach these young bucks what it takes to win in this League.
Michael Heisley: That’s what I want to hear, Allen. You’re my meal ticket! I mean, you are the key to our success this season.
Lionel Hollins: Why do I even bother? I should take up gardening. That’s a lot less stressful.
Chris Wallace: Enough with the negativity, Lionel. I’ll tell you what your problem is: you lack faith. I don’t have that problem. How do you think I’ve managed to remain gainfully employed all these years? It wasn’t the results, I’ll tell you that much.
Lionel Hollins: I quit.
Michael Heisley: Fine, we don’t need you any way. Chris, from this day forth, you’re the GM and the coach!
Chris Wallace: (doing his best Mr. Burns impression) Excellent. I’ve finally reached the Mike Dunleavy Zone. At last, the two smartest, most resourceful men in the League are in a position of undeniable power. It’s the dawn of a new day!
O.J. Mayo: (calling his agent) Remind me. When do I become a free agent again?
Steve Francis: [Sobs quietly, and slinks away ...]
Zach Randolph: Allen and I are just what this team needed. Two people who’ve been through the NBA wars, who understand what it takes to make it to the postseason.
Rudy Gay: But you two have never actually won anything, and your best days are clearly well behind you.
Zach Randolph: [Sadly] True. Pause.
Michael Heisley: Allen, I want you to lead our offense. You still got your legs, right?
Allen Iverson: Of course! My whole thing is about proving everyone wrong. I just hope you’re not lying to me, Michael. I’ve begun to develop a complex about people constantly lying to me.
Chris Wallace: No one is lying to you, Bubbachuck. You’re the biggest star in franchise history, and a lock for the Hall of Fame. Who do you think we’re going to revolve this operation around, Rudy Friggin Gay? Pause. No sir.
OJ Mayo: [Begins punching himself in the face repeatedly]
Zach Randolph: Hey, what about me? I’m a star, too!
Michael Heisley: Zach, my friend. You are a star. And you’ll get plenty of touches in this offense. You just gotta talk to Allen about that first. Mmmm-kay?
Allen Iverson: I got you, Z-Bo. This is the beginning of a beautiful partnership. Other big-time scorers love playing alongside me. Just ask Stackhouse if you’re having any doubts.
Marko Jaric: Hey, guys. Sorry I’m late. Had to accompany the wife to a photo shoot. (Sighs) Women … Did I miss anything?
Hubie Brown: Now, I want you to watch this here carefully. Look at how it slowly develops. That’s just beautiful execution of a trainwreck.
Chris Wallace: Here’s our new starting lineup for 2010, gentlemen: Iverson, Mayo, Gay (pause), Randolph, Gasol. You know what, that’s not too bad. Not too bad at all.
Hubie Brown: This team certainly won’t play any defense, but they’ll be mighty scary on the offensive end. It’s a deep and talented roster. Now, all they have to do is figure out a way to bring more than one basketball onto the court!
Hasheem Thabeet: I hope y’all not forgetting about me.
Michael Heisley: I’m sorry, son. But exactly who the hell are you?
Chris Wallace: Alright, gentlemen. It’s time to get out there and put all of this chit-chat into practice.
Allen Iverson: Uh, Coach. About that …