OJ Mayo No Longer ‘Mad’ About Coming off the Bench

by January 10, 2012
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OJ Mayo admits that he wasn’t happy when Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins asked him to come off the bench last season, but now he’s happy with the role. Per the LA Times: “O.J. Mayo had talked about being an NBA Hall of Famer going back to his days at USC, so his reaction was predictable last season when he was told he would be coming off the bench. Bench players and the Hall of Fame typically don’t go together. ‘I was definitely mad at first,’ Mayo said. The shooting guard seemed headed in the wrong direction, going from runner-up to Derrick Rose in rookie-of-the-year voting and averaging 18 points during his first two NBA seasons to second-tier status. Mayo swallowed hard and did his best to accept the situation. He averaged a career-low 11.3 points but was featured on the highlight reel during the Grizzlies’ upset of the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs by making a key three-pointer in Game 3. Now he’s in the early portion of his first full season as a reserve, something he’s embraced after having a lockout-extended off-season to digest the move. ‘It made the transition a lot easier going from last year to this year, understanding that that was what was needed for this team,’ Mayo said. ‘Coming off the bench, it just makes our team a lot stronger, depth-wise.’ Mayo is off to a slow start, averaging 9.9 points and 24.8 minutes per game while making only 20% of his three-point shots.”