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The National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA) has named Memphis Grizzlies Head Athletic Trainer and Vice President of Player Care Drew Graham as its 2015-16 Joe O’Toole Athletic Trainer of the Year. The award is chosen each year for exemplary achievement or outstanding service to the NBATA.

Graham, who recently concluded his 10th season as the Grizzlies’ head athletic trainer, has been on the executive committee and foundation committee for the last four years.

“Every year the NBATA recognizes a Head Athletic Trainer for exemplary achievement or outstanding service to the NBA and the NBATA,” said Kevin Johnson, Chairman of the NBATA and Head Athletic Trainer of the Philadelphia 76ers. “Drew Graham’s professionalism, knowledge and work ethic has made him our Trainer of the Year.”

Graham joined the Grizzlies in 2006 after working the previous six seasons (2000-06) as an assistant athletic trainer/strength and conditioning coach with the New Jersey Nets. In addition to his NBA experience, Graham served three years (1997-2000 as the director of athletic training at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex and three years (1994-97) as an athletic trainer for the National Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals. Before beginning his career in professional sports, Graham worked for four years at The Ohio State University as an athletic trainer for men’s hockey (1994-95), football (1993-94) and baseball (1992-93).

“When there is an award given from your peers who know what your day and season consists of, there really isn’t anything more special,” Graham said. “I want to thank the NBATA, the Memphis Grizzlies and the entire medical staff I work with every day. Without their help, I wouldn’t have received this award.”

The award is named for Joe O’Toole, the long-time former head athletic trainer for the Atlanta Hawks who is regarded as the father of the NBATA.

Grizzlies fire coach Dave Joerger

Grizzlies fire coach Dave Joerger

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced today that Dave Joerger will not return as head coach next season.

According to the Memphis Commecial Appeal, Joerger had one guaranteed season remaining on his contract, and the team held an option on him for the 2017-18 season.

“After careful consideration, I concluded that a change was needed to foster the strong culture required to achieve sustainable, long-term success for this organization, the city and our fans,” said General Manager, Chris Wallace.

“On behalf of the Grizzlies organization I would like to thank Dave for his work and time in Memphis,” Wallace continued. “We wish Dave and his family all the best and success as he moves forward in his career.”

Joerger started with the Grizzlies as an assistant coach with the Grizzlies prior to the 2007-08 season, eventually replacing Lionel Hollins as head coach on June 27, 2013. Joerger owns an overall career head coaching record of 147-99 (.598), including three NBA Playoff appearances with the Grizzlies. In 22 career playoff games, he holds an overall record of 9-13 (.409).

The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

According to ESPN.com, “Grizzlies management believed Joerger was not fully invested in coaching in Memphis and had been getting indications of that all season, sources said. The Grizzlies were also frustrated by Joerger’s veiled swipes at the front office in the media. Joerger, on the other hand, felt that he did not have management’s full support, according to sources, a sentiment he believes began when he interviewed for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ head-coaching job two years ago.”

The Memphis Grizzlies today announced that Matt Woodley has been named head coach of the Iowa Energy, the team’s NBA Development League affiliate. Woodley becomes the fifth head coach in franchise history after spending the past two seasons with the Energy organization.

Woodley, who served as associate head coach last season, joined the Energy as an assistant coach for the 2014-15 season.

“We are pleased to announce Matt as head coach of the Iowa Energy,” Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace said. “As evidenced last season, our affiliation with the Iowa Energy provides us a critical resource in the development of our players and institution of our organization’s philosophies. Matt’s coaching acumen and background within the Energy franchise make him a terrific fit.”

“We are excited to promote Matt and are confident he is the right person to continue the proud history of Iowa Energy basketball,” said Energy General Manager & Grizzlies Director of Basketball Operations Chris Makris. “Matt has readied himself for this position by playing a tremendous role in the development of our players during his two seasons with our organization.”

Prior to joining the Energy, Woodley served as head coach of the Truman State Bulldogs men’s basketball program for three seasons (2011-2014). He guided the Bulldogs to the 2013 MIAA Tournament while three players earned All-MIAA honors. In addition, Woodley also served as an assistant coach at Washington State University (2006-09), Middle Tennessee State University (2004-06) and the University of Denver (2001-04).

Jarell Martin injured, done for playoffs

Jarell Martin injured, done for playoffs

Memphis Grizzlies forward Jarell Martin will undergo a procedure to alleviate soreness in his left foot, the team announced today. Martin will miss the remainder of the 2016 NBA Playoffs and is expected to make a full recovery.

Martin originally underwent surgery on Sept. 3, 2015 to repair a left foot fracture sustained one day earlier in a collision with another player during a workout. A follow-up procedure had been previously scheduled for the offseason, but after Martin experienced recent soreness in the foot, it was determined the best course of action for Martin and the organization was to address the discomfort immediately.

The Grizzlies are without several of their best players, and in big trouble in their first-round NBA playoff series against the mighty Spurs. Here’s the Memphis Commercial Appeal reporting:

Matt Barnes says Grizzlies need to change gameplan

After the Grizzlies scored their fewest points in the postseason during their 94-68 Game 2 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, journeyman forward Matt Barnes had a suggestion or two or 10.

“We’ve got to roll the dice a little bit. We’ve got to play small, play fast. We’re coming to a gunfight with some spoons,” Barnes said. “We’ve got to do something to try to switch this up at home next game. It’s very frustrating.”

Memphis is 0-16 all-time when scoring 86 points or less in the postseason. San Antonio is responsible for six of those losses.

“You can credit their defense a little bit,” Barnes said, “but you’ve got to put the onus on us to make shots.”

Indeed.

The Memphis Grizzlies today waived center Ryan Hollins, and signed guard Xavier Munford to a multi-year contract.

Hollins (7-0, 240) appeared in 32 games (nine starts) for the Grizzlies this season and averaged 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12.9 minutes. The 31-year-old has averaged 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.8 minutes in 518 games (76 starts) over a 10-year NBA career with the Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies.

Munford (6-3, 180) has appeared in 10 games (zero starts) with the Grizzlies and has averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 14.2 minutes after signing with the team to the first of two 10-day contracts on March 16. The 23-year-old played 41 games (37 starts) for the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam, averaging 20.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.00 steals in 33.7 minutes, and was recognized as a 2016 D-League All-Star.

Undrafted in the 2014 Draft, Munford averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 35.5 minutes in 61 games (all starts) in his final two collegiate seasons at the University of Rhode Island. The New Jersey native led the Rams in scoring in each of his two years with the program.

jordan farmar

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Jordan Farmar for the remainder of the 2015-16 season.

Farmar (6-2, 180) has played five games (three starts) for the Grizzlies since signing a 10-day contract on March 21 and has averaged 10.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 25.6 minutes. The 29-year-old has appeared in 495 games (33 starts) across nine NBA seasons and averaged 7.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 19.5 minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies.

Originally from Los Angeles, Farmar was selected by the Lakers in the first round (26th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft following a standout collegiate career at UCLA, where he averaged 13.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists in a total of 66 games. As a sophomore, he was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team and guided the Bruins to the NCAA National Championship game.

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Xavier Munford to a second 10-day contract.

Munford (6-3, 180) has appeared in five games with the Grizzlies after signing his first 10-day contract with the team on March 16 and has averaged 2.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 10.2 minutes. The 23-year-old was called up from the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam, where he appeared in 41 games (37 starts) and averaged 20.4 points (.490 FG/.412 3P/.811 FT), 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.00 steals in 33.7 minutes. A 2016 D-League All-Star, he ranks sixth among qualifying players in assists per game and 11th in scoring average.

Undrafted in the 2014 Draft, Munford transferred to the University of Rhode Island as a junior and completed his collegiate career with averages of 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 35.5 minutes in 61 games (all starts) over two seasons. The New Jersey native led the Rams in scoring in each of his two years with the program.

Grizzlies sign Jordan Farmar to 10-day contract

For the next 10 days, veteran guard Jordan Farmar is back in the NBA.

The badly-injured Memphis Grizzlies today announced that the team has signed Farmar (pronounciation: FAHR-mahr) to a 10-day contract.

The 6-2, 180-pound guard has played in 490 games (30 starts) across eight NBA seasons and averaged 7.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 19.4 minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Clippers. He holds career shooting percentages of 42.3 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from three-point range and 73.4 percent from the free throw line.

Originally from Los Angeles, Farmar was selected by the Lakers in the first round (26th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft following a solid collegiate career at UCLA.

Farmar returned to Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv for the first part of the 2015-16 season after playing with the club during the 2011-12 season. He also has played overseas in Turkey for Anadolu Efes (2012-13) and Darussafaka Dogus (2014-15).

Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes has been suspended one game without pay for attempting to enter the Milwaukee Bucks’ locker room and verbally challenging Milwaukee forward John Henson following both players’ ejections on Thursday, March 17, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

In addition, Milwaukee guard Greivis Vasquez has been fined $15,000 for following Henson to the locker room, while Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and center Greg Monroe have each been fined $10,000 for their roles in the incident.

The incident began when Henson blocked Barnes’ shot with 5.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the Bucks’ 96-86 win over the Grizzlies at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Following the play, Henson taunted Barnes and was subsequently assessed two technical fouls and ejected. Barnes was then charged with a technical foul and ejected for continuing use of obscenities.

Barnes will serve his suspension tonight when Memphis hosts the Los Angeles Clippers at FedExForum.

Grizzlies sign Xavier Munford to 10-day contract

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Xavier Munford to a 10-day contract. This as a “Call-Up” from the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League, and pursuant to the NBA’s hardship roster rules that allow the team to go above the 15-player roster limit.

Munford (6-3, 180) has appeared in 41 games (37 starts) for Bakersfield and averaged 20.4 points (.490 FG/.412 3P/.811 FT), 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.00 steals in 33.7 minutes. A 2016 D-League All-Star, he ranks sixth among qualifying players in assists per game and 11th in scoring average.

The 23-year-old has played 89 career games (53 starts) over two seasons with the Jam and averaged 15.2 points (.475 FG/.366 3P/.796 FT), 3.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 27.3 minutes. He helped guide Bakersfield to the D-League Playoffs in 2015 and averaged 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.33 steals in 38.0 minutes over three postseason games.

Undrafted in the 2014 Draft, Munford transferred to the University of Rhode Island as a junior and completed his collegiate career with averages of 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 35.5 minutes in 61 games (all starts) over two seasons.

Memphis’ roster now stands at 18 players.

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Ray McCallum and center Alex Stepheson to 10-day contracts pursuant to the NBA’s hardship rule.

McCallum (6-3, 190) has appeared in 144 career games (43 starts) with the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs and averaged 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 18.0 minutes during his three-year NBA career. He played 31 games (three starts) for the Spurs this season and recorded 2.2 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 8.3 minutes before he was waived on Feb. 29.

The 24-year-old has competed in 16 games (all starts) in the NBA Development League with the Reno Bighorns and Austin Spurs and posted 18.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.63 steals in 37.3 minutes. He completed six assignments to Austin this season and averaged 17.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.33 steals in nine contests.

A 2010 McDonald’s All-American, McCallum was drafted by Sacramento in the second round (36th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft following a three-year collegiate career at the University of Detroit Mercy where he played for his father, Titans head coach Ray McCallum, Sr. He was a three-time All-Horizon selection and was named the 2013 Horizon League Player of the Year after averaging 18.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.94 steals in 36.6 minutes in 33 games (all starts) as a junior.

Stepheson (6-10, 270) appeared in 31 games (all starts) for the D-League’s Iowa Energy and was named a 2016 D-League All-Star after averaging 15.9 points, a league-high 13.8 rebounds and 1.35 blocks in 34.2 minutes. The D-League leader in double-doubles (26) this season, Stepheson signed with the Los Angeles Clippers to the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts on Feb. 20 and totaled two points, two rebounds and two blocks in 11 minutes over three contests.

Since finishing his collegiate career at the University of Southern California, the 28-year-old has played professionally in Greece, Slovenia and Turkey. During the 2014-15 season, he averaged 12.3 points and a league-leading 9.2 rebounds in 26.8 minutes over 29 games (21 starts) for Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi.

Undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles native made three appearances for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and also played three games for the Grizzlies during the 2015 preseason.

Mike Conley out 3-4 weeks with Achilles tendonitis

After missing the last three games with left foot soreness, Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley received an additional examination yesterday, which revealed Achilles tendonitis. Conley will remain out and will be re-evaluated in 3 to 4 weeks.

Conley has appeared in 56 games (all starts) this season for the Grizzlies and averaged 15.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, a team-high 6.1 assists and 1.20 steals in 31.4 minutes. He’s a crucial part of the team. This injury is a big blow to the squad.

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Briante Weber to a 10-day contract, as a “Call-Up” from the Sioux Falls Skyforce (D-League).

Weber (6-2, 165) has appeared in 22 games (nine starts) for the Skyforce and averaged 10.6 points (.453 FG/.444 3P/.750 FT), 5.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.95 steals in 28.5 minutes in his first professional season. The 23-year-old ranks fifth among qualifying D-League players in steals per game and has posted three double-doubles, including a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Feb. 23 vs. Fort Wayne.

A native of Chesapeake, Va., Weber played four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth, appearing in 127 games (65 starts) and averaging 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.94 steals in 23.4 minutes. He capped his collegiate career as VCU’s all-time steals leader (374) and finished third on the NCAA’s all-time steals list, just 12 shy of becoming the all-time steals leader before missing the final 10 games of his senior season due to injury. Weber became the first player in conference history to be named the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons (2013, 2014 and 2015) and set a program record with a recorded 45.5-inch vertical leap.

Undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, Weber spent time on the Miami Heat’s 2015 preseason roster.

Grizzlies re-sign Ryan Hollins

Grizzlies re-sign Ryan Hollins

The Memphis Grizzlies today announced the team has re-signed center Ryan Hollins.

Hollins (7-0, 240) has averaged 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.8 minutes in 19 games (three starts) with the Grizzlies and Washington Wizards this season. A member of the Grizzlies’ training camp roster, Hollins made five regular season appearances (three starts) for the Wizards and before being rejoining Memphis on Dec. 29 (waived on Jan. 7) and subsequently re-signing again to consecutive 10-day contracts on Jan. 21 and Feb. 1.

The 31-year-old has averaged 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 500 career games (67 starts) over 10 NBA seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies. A native of Pasadena, Calif., Hollins was selected by Charlotte in the second round (50th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft following his senior season at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Grizzlies waive James Ennis

Grizzlies waive James Ennis

The Memphis Grizzlies have waived forward James Ennis.

Ennis (6-7, 210) has come off the bench in all 13 appearances with the Grizzlies and Miami Heat this season to average 1.2 points in 3.6 minutes. Memphis acquired Ennis with Mario Chalmers from Miami on Nov. 10 for Beno Udrih and Jarnell Stokes.

The 25-year-old California, Long Beach product has averaged 4.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 75 games (three starts) over two seasons with the Heat and Grizzlies.

Brandan Wright out indefinitely with knee injury

After leaving in the third quarter during Saturday’s game in Phoenix, Grizzlies forward/center Brandan Wright underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which revealed a sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee, the team announced today. Wright will be out indefinitely, but no surgery will be required.

“This is an unfortunate development for Brandan and our team,” Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace said. “Brandan had been playing his best basketball of the season recently and showing the positive impact he has on our roster. We expect a full recovery and will have further updates when appropriate.”

Wright (6-10, 210) has averaged 6.9 points on 67.3 percent shooting with 3.6 rebounds and 1.25 blocks in 17.7 minutes in 12 games (two starts) this season, his first with the Grizzlies and eighth in the NBA.

Friday in Los Angeles the Grizzlies beat the Lakers, 112-95. Memphis got a nice boost from Vince Carter off the bench: 7-of-10 shooting, including 5-of-7 three-pointers, for 19 points, three rebounds and two assists in around 19.5 minutes. Here’s the Memphis Commercial Appeal reporting:

Vince Carter scores season-high 19 points vs Lakers

Griz veteran Vince Carter manufactured a season-high 19 points mostly off of five 3-pointers. The long-range daggers were Carter’s first five field goal attempts over a span of nearly eight minutes.

“I was just locked in and trying to do anything I could for the team,” Carter said. “I don’t know if it makes me feel younger, but it just brings back good memories and shows that I can still do this. The guys are trying to find me, and that makes you feel good.”

The 18-year veteran is known for his dunking ability but gave new meaning to “Vinsanity.” At one point, Carter hit back-to-back shots from beyond the arc in just 28 seconds.

“I had him ready to sub out, and as (P.J. Hairston) was sitting there waiting for a dead ball, Vince made two more, which put him at five (3-pointers),” Joerger said. “But he was getting tired, he did a great job. What he does is he settles us. It was good for him to play with Mike Conley and a little bit of Lance (Stephenson). What I liked about what we did tonight, we can be chuckers at times, but the ball moved and that made for easier looks. Those are the kinds of shots where you might pass up an open guy when you see someone open, and all of a sudden he gets it and we’re moving the basketball. When they grab on to those things and realize this is how we can be successful, it can be good for us.”

Marc Gasol has season-ending foot surgery

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol underwent successful surgery on Saturday, Feb. 20 to repair a non-displaced Type II fracture of the navicular bone in his right foot.

Although Marc will not return to the court this season, he is expected to make a full recovery.

The surgery was performed by foot and ankle specialists Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina and Dr. Drew Murphy of Campbell Clinic.

“Marc remains a cornerstone of our franchise and we are pleased to hear that the surgery went according to plan,” Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace said. “Marc’s determination and competitive spirit will serve him, his family and the team well as he begins the healing and rehab process from which we expect him to make a full recovery. We are confident we will have Marc back anchoring our team next season and beyond.”

Gasol left in the first quarter of the game on Feb. 8 vs. Portland with the injury.

Vince Carter isn’t ready to call it a career. Not today, at least.

No Vince Carter retirement announcement yet

Vince Carter sounds pretty confident this won’t be his last time on the court in Toronto.

Carter and a vastly different Memphis lineup than the one the league was seeing even three games ago, are in town to take on the Raptors Sunday and Carter is giving no indication that fans will be witnessing his Toronto swan song.

“Not now, not yet,” Carter said when asked if he goes into a game like Sunday’s thinking this might be his last time on this particular court.

“I just go year by year and listen to the body. Every now and then I’ll think about ‘When I do know (it’s time), how do I approach that?’ It’s just tough accepting it because I enjoy playing still. I think when I don’t enjoy playing I will definitely let it be known.”

– Toronto Sun

 

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