The Memphis Grizzlies are among the youngest and best squads in the NBA because of their athleticism, toughness, and skill. No one on the up-and-coming embodies those qualities quite like the reigning Most Improved Player of the Year, Ja Morant.
When Morant’s teammate, Desmond Bane, was asked about Morant and his human “highlight reel” moments on an Old Man and the Three podcast episode released on Thursday, Bane said he and the Grizzlies have come to expect these moments from 12.
“At this point, it’s becoming routine.” Bane said. “We play Ja’s on a highlight reel somewhere.”
“It’s not fair to say that it’s normal because it’s definitely not. But we see it so much it’s just like — that’s Ja. That’s who we know Ja as, and then when we go on the road, and you hear the ohs and ahs, and you see the way these other players talk about him, you really get an appreciation for how special he really is. There’s nobody in the League that’s doing stuff like him. He’s like a mix of like healthy Derrick Rose and AI; he’s one of his own.”
“At this point, it’s becoming routine. We play, Ja’s on a highlight reel somewhere.” —@DBane0625 on being teammates with a human highlight reel like @JaMorant— TheOldMan&TheThree (@OldManAndThree) July 7, 2022
Full conversation with @jj_redick and @talter: https://t.co/n4IX6hJjqg pic.twitter.com/I1aIfe7Ocr
That’s a lot of high praise from Bane, and you could sit there and ask, “well, that’s his teammate. What else is he supposed to say?”
Let’s be honest here, though, Morant has evolved and grown his game through three seasons. Not only did he win the MIP, but he also earned his first All-Star nod after leading Memphis to the second-best record in the West at 56-26. Memphis ultimately lost 4-2 to the eventual-champion Warriors in the second round of the postseason. Last week, the Grizzlies awarded Morant’s efforts with a max extension.
Morant averaged a career-best 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game on 49.3 percent shooting from the field and 34.4 percent from deep last season.