The Memphis Grizzlies’ season is over. In two of their last three games, Memphis blew a double digit lead en route to a loss. It was the 638th time they’d done that in 2018-19, approximately. Now, the fate of their top 8 protected pick will likely be determined by the NBA’s tie-breaking system. It’s a fitting end to a forgettable season.
Even still, we’d be remiss if we didn’t hand out season end awards. Despite the lows, there were moments of joy. Despite the terrible roster management, there were some winning deals. And through it all, a culture lived on.
MVP – Mike Conley Jr.
This isn’t even close, and rather self explanatory. We recently profiled the tremendous season Conley had, so be sure to check it out. We don’t need to duplicate the effort, but know that Conley had one of the best seasons of his career and is a worthy 3rd team All-NBA selection.
The Grit n’ Grind memories live on through Conley. He survived the trade deadline without being dealt away, although at this point in his career he deserves an opportunity to compete at the highest levels. In incorporate the recent news, perhaps Conley will find a new home this summer given the organizational restructuring.
Most Bittersweet Moment – Marc Gasol Trade
The Big Burrito is a franchise icon. He went to high school in Memphis during his brother’s time with the team. He perfectly embodied the Grit n’ Grind culture. The former defensive player of the year played with tremendous passion in a selfless manner.
Sending him north of the border is sad, but Gasol has a realistic chance to make the NBA Finals. While losing such a beloved figure in a vacuum is hearth wrenching, he couldn’t have found himself in a better situation for his life after Memphis.
Coolest Thing in Any NBA Arena
Speaking of the culture in Memphis, the city is obsessed with wrestling. It’s a long backstory that dates to before the WWE/WWF was a thing. The important part is that the wrestling fascination is embraced by the team.
Grizz, the best mascot in the league, does wrestling bits all the time. There are other characters. The other characters are the heels, in wrestling speak. And all of this is fan interactive, despite how absurdly dangerous it is.
fan gets elbow-dropped through a table by Super Grizz with Mick Foley standing by pic.twitter.com/iGYv6jnKTA
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) February 10, 2019
No other mascot in the league is elbow dropping fans through tables then celebrating with Man Freakin’ Kind.
All hail Super Grizz.
Most Embarrassing Moment in the NBA
Magic Johnson actually swooped in at the 11th hour and stole this award with his impromptu retirement where Jeanie Buss didn’t even know it was happening in real time. Before that, the most embarrassing moment of the NBA season was definitely the “new phone, which Brooks?” trade debacle.
You can construct a good argument any of the three teams that were involved in this non-trade are to blame for the miscommunication. Why? Because they’re the three most inept front offices in the league. Well, at least they were. The Wizards finally fired Ernie Grunfeld. Chris Wallace was repositioned with the Memphis organization after missing on 6,000 consecutive first round picks before Jaren Jackson Jr. fell into his lap. And, I mean, there’s literally goats sh*tting inside the Phoenix Suns offices.
Did anyone expect anything more (or less) from an attempt at a three involving these three franchises? Say this out loud to yourself: “An NBA trade fell apart because no one knew which guy with the last name ‘Brooks’ was the one being traded.”
Thank god for Magic Johnson.
Worst Roster Move
Signing Joakim Noah. This doesn’t need an explanation.
Best Roster Move
At the deadline it seemed like the Grizzlies failed. While the Gasol trade looked good at the time, a big swing and miss appeared to be the Avery Bradley trade. Well, that may have been wrong. Bradley, along with Jonas Valanciunas, may have the ability to make Memphis competitive last season if Mike Conley does return. Our grading system has always been high on Valanciunas, while Bradley had a bounce back season that went under the radar.