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Grizzlies fill training camp roster

Grizzlies fill training camp roster

The Memphis Grizzlies today announced the team has signed free agents Yakhouba Diawara (ya-KOO-ba dee-a-WA-ra), Ryan Hollins, Michael Holyfield, Lazeric Jones and Daniel Nwaelele (wah-LAY-lay).

Diawara (6-7, 225) comes to Memphis after spending last season with Cimberio Varese in the Italian SerieA league. The 33-year-old spent four seasons in the NBA (2006-10) and holds career averages of 3.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in 14.0 minutes in 187 games (56 starts) with the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat. Undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft after finishing his collegiate career at Pepperdine University, he has played six of his 10 professional seasons, including the last five, in Italy and his home country of France. The Paris native is a member of the French National Team and represented France in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Hollins (7-0, 230), a nine-year NBA veteran (2006-15), owns career averages of 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.8 minutes in 481 games (64 starts) for the Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings. Drafted by Charlotte in the second round (50th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft, the 30-year-old Pasadena, Calif. native enjoyed a four-year collegiate career at UCLA, leading the Bruins to the 2006 NCAA Championship Game as a senior.

Holyfield (6-11, 270) helped guide Memphis to an undefeated record and the championship at the 2015 Orlando Pro Summer League, averaging 6.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 14.3 minutes in five games (two starts). Undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft after a four-year collegiate career at Sam Houston State University, the 22-year-old Albuquerque, N.M. native was named the 2015 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the 2015 All-Southland Second Team after setting the school’s single-season record for blocks (86) as a senior.

Jones (6-0, 187) joins the Grizzlies after playing last season in Hungary, guiding Szolnoki Olaj to the Hungarian League Championship with averages of 11.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.7 steals in 29.1 minutes in 11 games (all starts). Undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft, the 25-year-old Chicago native has competed in Israel (2012-13) and Greece (2013-14) and participated in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas for the Sacramento Kings (2012), Chicago Bulls (2014) and New Orleans Pelicans (2015) following his four-year collegiate career at UCLA.

Nwaelele (6-5, 205) comes to Memphis after competing most recently with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, where he averaged 10.4 points, 3.6 points and 1.7 assists in 26.0 minutes in 76 games (43 starts) over two seasons (2012-14). Undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft, the 31-year-old also played professionally in Israel during the 2010-11 season. A native of Bothell, Wash., Nwaelele lettered all four years at the United States Air Force Academy, finishing his collegiate career ranked second in program history in three-point field goal percentage (.451). He spent five years in the Air Force, including two overseas deployments to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia during his years of service.

The Grizzlies roster stands at 20 players entering training camp.

The Memphis Grizzlies announced that rookie forward Jarell Martin sustained a fractured left foot today following a collision with another player during a workout. He will undergo surgery tomorrow, Sept. 3, which will be performed by team physicians Dr. Fred Azar and Dr. Drew Murphy at the Campbell Clinic. There is no timetable for his return. Further updates will be provided when available.

The 21-year-old was selected by the Grizzlies with the 25th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. A native of Baton Rouge, La., Martin played two seasons at Louisiana State University and finished his collegiate career with averages of 13.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30.7 minutes in 65 games (57 starts) for the Tigers.

Grizzlies re-sign Marc Gasol

Grizzlies re-sign Marc Gasol

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced today that the team has re-signed center Marc Gasol to a multi-year contract. According to the Associated Press, it is “a five-year maximum contract worth more than $100 million.”

“Re-signing Marc Gasol was the No. 1 priority for our organization this offseason,” General Manager Chris Wallace said. “For many years, Marc has been a pillar of our franchise and in a Memphis community that has watched him become one of the best basketball players in the world, so this is a great day for our team, our city and our fans across the Mid-South and worldwide.”

Last season, Gasol (7-1, 255) averaged a career-high 17.4 points on 49.4 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.62 blocks in 33.2 minutes in 81 games (all starts), guiding Memphis to 55 wins and a fifth consecutive appearance in the NBA Playoffs. He averaged 19.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.73 blocks in 11 postseason games in leading Memphis to the Western Conference Semifinals for the third time in franchise history.

The 30-year-old scored 30-or-more points five times, including a career-high 33 points in the regular season finale on April 15 vs. Indiana, after doing so just once in his first six NBA seasons. Gasol continued to display his all-around versatility and was the only player in the league with at least 1,300 points, 600 rebounds and 300 assists.

During his career year, Gasol was named a starter in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game and was selected to the 2015 All-NBA First Team, becoming the first player in franchise history to be honored as either an All-Star starter or a member of the All-NBA First Team. He became one of just three second round draft picks since the NBA-ABA merger to make an All-NBA First Team (Dennis Johnson in 1981; Mark Price in 1993).

Gasol has accumulated many “firsts” over his first seven years with the Grizzlies organization. Gasol was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the All-NBA Second Team in 2013. He is the only player in club history to be recognized on either the All-NBA First Team or Second Team or to be named to multiple All-NBA Teams. Among his accolades, he is a two-time All-Star (2012, 2015) and one of just two Grizzlies (Zach Randolph in 2010 and 2013) to appear in multiple All-Star Games. In addition, he has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2013) and NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2009) as well as Western Conference Player of the Week in January 2012.

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 48th overall pick in the second round in the 2007 NBA Draft, Gasol owns career averages of 14.1 points on 50.9 percent shooting, 7.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.55 blocks in 33.7 minutes in 517 games (510 starts) over seven seasons with the Grizzlies. Memphis acquired his draft rights from Los Angeles in a package for his older brother Pau Gasol on Feb. 1, 2008. The Barcelona native played high school ball in Memphis for Lausanne while Pau played for the Grizzlies and was named the MVP of the Spanish ACB league as a member of Akasvayu Girona before signing with Memphis prior to the 2008-09 season.

In the Grizzlies’ career record books, Gasol ranks first in defensive rebounds (3,003); second in games played (517), games started (510), minutes played (17,399), field goal percentage (.509) and blocks (802); third in free throws made (1,787) and attempted (2,359), offensive rebounds (1,066) and total rebounds (4,069); fourth in assists (1,552); and fifth in points (7,285) and steals (477). He set the single-season franchise record for field goal percentage by shooting 58.1 percent in 2009-10.

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team has signed rookie forward Jarell Martin.

All players selected in the first round of the NBA draft are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they want to enter the league right away. This signing was expected, and is standard.

Martin (6-10, 235) was drafted by Memphis with the 25th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft after a two-year collegiate career at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he guided the Tigers to the 2014 National Invitation Tournament as a freshman and the 2015 NCAA Tournament as a sophomore. Named All-American Honorable Mention by The Associated Press last season, Martin left LSU with career averages of 13.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30.7 minutes in 65 games (57 starts) for the Tigers.

A consensus First Team All-SEC selection last season, Martin posted 16.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 35.1 minutes in 33 games (32 starts) as a sophomore, ranking third in the Southeastern Conference in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage (.509) and fourth in minutes per game. The 21-year-old recorded 15 double-doubles, including five in the final seven games of the season, and led the Tigers in free throws made (140).

Martin was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after averaging 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in 26.2 minutes in 32 games (25 starts) in his first year with the Tigers. The Baton Rouge, La. native was the winner of the 2013 Mr. Basketball award given by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association to the top player in the state of Louisiana after leading Madison Prep to the school’s first state title in Class B in 2013.

Grizzlies sign Brandan Wright

Grizzlies sign Brandan Wright

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced today that the team has signed free agent forward/center Brandan Wright to a multi-year contract.

This gives the Grizzlies some nice depth in the frontcourt.

Wright (6-10, 210) averaged 7.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.25 blocks in 19.3 minutes in 75 games (seven starts) for the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns last season. He recorded 8.8 points on 74.8 percent shooting in 18.7 minutes in 27 games for the Mavericks to start the season before midseason trades from Dallas to Boston on Dec. 18 and from Boston to Phoenix on Jan. 9. The 27-year-old registered 3.11 blocks per 48 minutes last season, ranking 12th among players that qualified for the blocks per game leaderboard.

The eighth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft from the University of North Carolina, Wright owns career averages of 7.1 points on 60.6 percent shooting, 3.7 rebounds and 1.01 blocks in 16.4 minutes in 360 games (54 starts) over seven seasons for Golden State, New Jersey, Dallas, Boston and Phoenix.

Along with DeAndre Jordan, Wright is one of two players in NBA history to convert over 1,000 field goals and maintain a career shooting percentage of at least 60 percent. His 67.7 percent mark in 2013-14 as a member of the Mavericks led all players with at least 100 field goal attempts.

In his lone collegiate season, Wright averaged 14.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.76 blocks in 37 games (all starts) for the University of North Carolina, earning 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and All-ACC Second Team honors. He was recognized as the MVP of the ACC Tournament, becoming just the fifth freshman in conference history to win the award. His 64.6 field goal percentage led the conference and was the best ever by an ACC freshman.

A native of Nashville, Tenn., Wright led Brentwood Academy to four consecutive Tennessee state championships, a first in Tennessee high school basketball history, and was a four-time MVP of the Tennessee Division II private school state championship tournament. He earned Tennessee’s Division II Mr. Basketball title in 2004, 2005 and 2006, becoming the first three-time recipient of the award on any level of Tennessee high school basketball.

2015 Grizzlies summer league roster

The Memphis Grizzlies’ today announced that second-year players Jordan Adams, JaMychal Green, Russ Smith and Jarnell Stokes will join 2015 second round draft pick Andrew Harrison (No. 44 overall) in headlining the Grizzlies’ roster for the 2015 Orlando Pro Summer League.

Grizzlies assistant coach/advance scout Jason March will serve as head coach during the 2015 Orlando Pro Summer League with Grizzlies assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik, Grizzlies basketball operations assistant/scout Glynn Cyprien, Iowa Energy head coach Bob Donewald and Grizzlies video coordinator Dan Hartfield also coaching the summer league squad. In addition, Grizzlies assistant video coordinator Colin Schneider will serve as the lead video coordinator during the summer league.

Full roster is here:

The Utah Jazz announced today that Igor Kokoskov (kuh-KOS-kov) was hired as assistant coach, joining Head Coach Quin Snyder’s staff. In addition, Andrae Patterson has been named as player personnel/player programs coordinator.

Kokoskov has spent 15 seasons as an assistant coach in the NBA, most recently with the Orlando Magic during the 2014-15 season. His previous NBA experience includes, one season with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-14), five seasons with the Phoenix Suns (2008-13), five seasons with the Detroit Pistons (2003-08) and three seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03). He reached the Conference Finals in each campaign with Detroit and captured an NBA title in 2004, becoming the first non-American assistant to win an NBA championship and the first to serve on an NBA All-Star Game coaching staff.

As a member of Alvin Gentry’s Los Angeles Clippers staff in 2000, Kokoskov became the first full-time non-American assistant coach in NBA History.

Kokoskov rejoins Coach Snyder after having also served as an assistant to him at the University of Missouri during the 1999-00 season, where Kokoskov became the first European coach to hold a full-time position with an NCAA Division I school.

In 2004, Kokoskov served as an assistant with the Serbia National Team at the Athens Olympic Games under renowned European coach Zeljko Obradovic. He has also served as head coach of the Republic of Georgia National Team for seven summers (2008-14), qualifying for the European Championships twice for the first time in team history. In 2012, he earned the Order of Honour, Georgia’s highest civilian honor, for his success with the team.

A native, of Belgrade, Serbia, Kokoskov became a United States citizen in 2010.

Patterson joins the Jazz front office staff after serving as an assistant coach for the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede, the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated D-League team, during the 2014-15 season. Prior to the Stampede, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Texas at Arlington after two years as the school’s director of basketball operations/video coordinator and one as a student assistant.

He enjoyed a successful professional playing career that began when he was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 46th overall pick of the 1998 NBA Draft, where he played from 1998-2001. Following his NBA career, he played nine seasons internationally for clubs in the top European leagues, including both CB Estudiantes (2001-05) and Bàsquet Manresa (2005-06) of the premier Spanish ACB League, as well as KK Zadar (Croatia-A1) and Panellinios BC (Greece-A1) in 2006, Ironi Ashkelon (Israel) in 2007, before finishing his playing career with Egaleo AO (Greece-A1) from 2007-09.

As a collegian, the Abilene, Texas, native played for Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight for four seasons at Indiana University (1994-98), where he was an All-American and four-time All-Big Ten selection and led the Hoosiers to four NCAA Tournament appearances while earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Grizzlies extend qualifying offer to Nick Calathes

The Memphis Grizzlies have extended a qualifying offer to guard Nick Calathes, General Manager Chris Wallace announced today.

By extending a qualifying offer to Calathes prior to the June 30 deadline, Memphis holds the right to match any offer sheet he may sign with another team after becoming a restricted free agent on July 1.

Calathes (6-6, 213) averaged 4.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.09 steals in 14.4 minutes in 58 games (zero starts) for Memphis last season. The 26-year-old posted a 92.2 defensive rating, leading all NBA players who appeared in at least 55 contests.

Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (45th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft following a two-year collegiate career at the University of Florida, Calathes owns NBA career averages of 4.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.00 steals in 15.6 minutes in 129 games (seven starts) in two seasons, both with the Grizzlies.

The Memphis Grizzlies acquired the draft rights to Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison, who was selected with the No. 44 overall pick in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft, from the Phoenix Suns for forward Jon Leuer, General Manager Chris Wallace announced tonight.

Harrison (6-6, 210) played two seasons (2013-15) at the University of Kentucky, averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 28.6 minutes in 79 games and starting in all but one game in his tenure. His 298 assists rank 16th in the Wildcats’ record books and are the most for a two-year player in program history.

Playing alongside his twin brother Aaron Harrison, the 20-year-old averaged 9.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 25.5 minutes in 39 games (all starts) while shooting .383 from three-point range as a sophomore last season, helping Kentucky become the first team ever to post a 38-0 record before falling to Wisconsin in the 2015 NCAA Final Four. The Wildcats’ win total tied the most in NCAA history.

As a freshman, the San Antonio native recorded 10.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 31.7 minutes in 40 games (39 starts), ranking third in UK freshman single-season history with 159 assists. He averaged 15.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists as a senior at Travis High School where he directed the squad to a state title in 2013.

Harrison is one of six Wildcats to be drafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, joining Karl-Anthony Towns (No. 1 overall), Willie Cauley-Stein (No. 6), Trey Lyles (No. 12), Devin Booker (No. 13) and Dakari Johnson (No. 48).

Leuer (6-10, 228) holds career averages of 4.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.9 minutes in 186 games (18 starts) over four seasons (2011-15) with the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies. The 26-year-old registered 4.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 11.9 minutes in 131 games (six starts) during his tenure in Memphis.

The Long Lake, Minn. native was selected by Milwaukee in the second round (40th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft after a four-year career at the University of Wisconsin.

Hornets trade Matt Barnes to Grizzlies for Luke Ridnour

The Memphis Grizzlies acquired forward Matt Barnes from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for guard Luke Ridnour, General Manager Chris Wallace announced today.

Barnes (6-7, 226) holds career averages of 8.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 779 games (296 starts) over 12 seasons (2003-15) with the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers. He owns career postseason averages of 7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 79 playoff games (44 starts) with the Warriors, Magic, Lakers and Clippers.

A key member of the Los Angeles Clippers over the past three years, Barnes averaged 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in a career-high 29.9 minutes in 76 games (74 starts) last season. The 35-year-old shot .362 from three-point range and set personal bests for three-point makes (136) and attempts (376). He was traded by Los Angeles with Spencer Hawes to Charlotte for Lance Stephenson on June 16.

The Santa Clara, Calif. native originally was drafted by Memphis in the second round (46th overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft following a four-year collegiate career at UCLA and traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on draft night.

Ridnour (6-2, 175) owns career averages of 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 26.1 minutes in 830 games (493 starts) over 12 seasons (2003-15) with the Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte and Orlando. The 34-year-old was drafted by Seattle in the first round (14th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft after a three-year collegiate career at the University of Oregon.

The Blaine, Wash. native was acquired by Memphis yesterday from Orlando, where he averaged 4.0 points in 47 appearances last season, in exchange for the draft rights to Janis Timma.

Grizzlies forward Jeff Green will stick with team for 2015-16 season

Jeff Green exercises contract option to stay with Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced today that Grizzlies forward Jeff Green has exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season.

Green (6-9, 235) averaged 15.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31.5 minutes in 78 games (70 starts) last season with the Grizzlies and Boston Celtics. Acquired by Memphis from Boston in a three-team trade on Jan. 12, he recorded 13.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.3 minutes in 45 games (37 starts) with the Grizzlies. Green shot a team-high .398 from three-point range after the All-Star Break and increased his three-point percentage to .438 over the final 20 games of the regular season.

The 28-year-old posted 8.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 27.1 minutes in 11 games (two starts) for Memphis during the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

Drafted by Boston in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, Green holds career averages of 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32.6 minutes in 556 games (432 starts) for the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston and Memphis. The Hyattsville, Md. native starred for three seasons at Georgetown University (2004-07), earning 2007 Big East Player of the Year honors as a junior and leading the Hoyas to the 2006 NCAA Final Four as a sophomore, the program’s first NCAA Final Four appearance since 1985.

Without Tony Allen, Grizzlies lose Game 5 to Warriors

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Wednesday’s Warriors-Grizzlies second round playoff game, which went quite badly for Memphis:

Without Tony Allen, Grizzlies lose Game 5 to Warriors

Much like the last playoff game in Oakland, Game 5 came down to a key Grizzlies player who was a game-time decision because of injury. While Mike Conley put on a face mask and cape in Memphis’ win in Game 2 at Oracle Arena, Tony Allen was not able to play with a bad hamstring Wednesday night.

The defensive repercussions were obvious, but the Grizzlies were actually somehow worse offensively without their jump shot-challenged tough guy.

“It’s huge, being without Tony,” Grizzlies guard Courtney Lee said. “We can’t replace his energy or his defensive intensity. We needed to step up tonight and we didn’t.” Memphis shot 5-of-25 in a 12:35 span over the end of the first quarter and most of the second quarter, turning a 25-15 lead into a 49-37 deficit.

Memphis shot 5-of-25 in a 12:35 span over the end of the first quarter and most of the second quarter, turning a 25-15 lead into a 49-37 deficit.

And a 12-point deficit might as well be 24 — which it grew to — for a big, physical team that can’t get out on the fastbreak (six points all night) or shoot threes (they made four).

Zach Randolph scored 22 points and Marc Gasol added 21 points and 15 rebounds as the Grizzlies beat the Warriors 99-89 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal…

Mike Conley and Courtney Lee both finished with 11 points for Memphis, which has yet to lose this postseason with Conley in the lineup.

MVP Stephen Curry finished with 23 points for Golden State but was 8 of 21 from the field, including 2 of 10 outside the arc. Klay Thompson had 20 points, and Harrison Barnes added 16…

For a second straight game, the Grizzlies made the Warriors look nothing like the team that was the NBA’s best home or away during the regular season. The Warriors missed seven straight 3s during one stretch, several wide-open looks, and the Grizzlies harassed them into a handful of ugly turnovers.

The Warriors went just 6 of 26 from 3-point range, tying their season-low at 23.1 percent, and 19 of 28 at the free throw line.

– Associated Press

Mike Conley not mad at Draymond Green

Mike Conley not mad at Draymond Green

Look. In games, players fall. And when that player has the ball, sometimes another player tries to grab it. These things happen. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Grizzlies guard Mike Conley and Warriors forward Draymond Green:

Mike Conley not mad at Draymond Green

In the days following Mike Conley’s Game 2 brush with Warriors’ power forward Draymond Green, the Grizzlies’ point guard has gone from “no comment” to “it is what it is” to forming an opinion.

“At the end of the day, I think Draymond Green is a phenomenal player,” Conley said before Friday’s practice. “He’s a competitor. In the heat of the game, things happen. Guys get hit. Guys bring a lot of passion to the game. I have no opinion other than that. I think it was just basketball.”

Conley was driving through the lane when he got tied up by Green and Klay Thompson midway through the second quarter. He recovered the ball with 4:58 remaining and called a timeout while lying on his back with the ball near his chin. Green reached in to try to grab the ball and bumped Conley in a mask designed to protect surgically repaired facial fractures.

Officials reviewed the play as a potential “hostile act” and didn’t call a foul, but that hasn’t changed the opinion of the Grizzlies’ fans. Green said he’s gotten Twitter hate and warnings about coming to Memphis.

Mike Conley returns, helps Grizzlies beat Warriors in Game 2

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, who returned to action and helped his squad beat the Warriors in Golden State to tie their second-round playoff series at one win apiece:

Mike Conley returns, helps Grizzlies beat Warriors in Game 2

After his fearless performance in a Game 2 win over Golden State on Tuesday night, the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley admitted that he was getting pushed and pulled in different directions as to whether he should play so soon after a serious facial injury.

The push was likely coming from some teammates, who sorely missed their point guard’s presence in a decisive Game 1 loss. The pull was coming from his parents, who believed that the 27-year-old should wait a little longer before putting himself at risk again.

A game-high 22-point effort, including nine first-quarter points and a key three-pointer in the closing minutes, and Conley’s parents are probably just fine with their son’s gutsy decision.

“I had to tell my mom and dad, no, I’m playing regardless,” Conley said. “But, I think they’re happy at the end of the day. They support me.”

Warriors take Game 1 vs Grizzlies

Warriors take Game 1 vs Grizzlies

Stephen Curry had 22 points and seven assists, and the Golden State Warriors wore down the undermanned Memphis Grizzlies in a 101-86 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday.

Klay Thompson added 18 points and Draymond Green scored 16 to help the top-seeded Warriors roll to their 21st straight victory at raucous Oracle Arena. They led by nine at the half, 20 late in the third quarter and never let the Grizzlies build any momentum in the fourth.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Oakland.

Marc Gasol had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Zach Randolph finished with 20 points and nine rebounds for a Memphis team missing point guard Mike Conley. He sat on the bench in a suit, his left eye still swollen, as he continues to recover from surgery to repair broken bones in his face.

– AP

Damian Lillard struggles in Blazers Game 1 loss to Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers 100-86 Sunday to take a 1-0 series lead. Blazers guard Damian Lillard struggled badly, shooting 5-of-21 for 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Here’s the Oregonian reporting:

Damian Lillard was locked in at long last. This was the stingy and smothering laser-like All-Star effort we’d been promised all week by the guard. It was the defensive performance of a lifetime.

Here was Lillard late Sunday night, long after the Blazers Game 1 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies, shutting down the scrutiny, one dress sock at a time. He’d already toweled off like a retiree watching a sunset. Now, the Blazers All-Star guard sat on a folding chair, back to the room, checking text messages.

It was so crowded with media in Lillard’s corner of the locker room that when guard Steve Blake emerged from the showers he had to dispatch a locker room attendant through the mob of cameras to retrieve his clothes. Also, during the Lillard filibuster a reporter from TNT asked Chris Kaman if he wouldn’t mind giving the network a quote, as Lillard was about to bleed their deadline out.

Kaman obliged and left. Blake eventually dressed, conducted an interview and left the room. So did the rest of the Blazers teammates. One by one, from Robin Lopez to Nic Batum to Wesley Matthews and back, the Blazers absorbed the disappointment and disappeared out the locker room doors.

Grizzlies beat Knicks, clinch playoff spot

The Memphis Grizzlies clinched a playoff spot for the fifth consecutive season on Monday night. They hope this is only the beginning.

Zach Randolph scored 23 points and Marc Gasol had 21, leading Memphis to a 103-82 win over the lowly New York Knicks.

The Grizzlies (50-21) shot 52 percent from the field in their third consecutive victory. Vince Carter added 14 points, Jeff Green scored 12 and Kosta Koufos had 10.

“This is the NBA,” said Randolph, who also had seven rebounds and five assists. “We have been together a long time and we have to keep playing. We know what we are playing and getting ready for.”

– Associated Press

Grizzlies sign JaMychal Green to multi-year contract

Grizzlies sign JaMychal Green to multi-year contract

The Memphis Grizzlies signed forward JaMychal Green to a multi-year contract, Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced today.

“Before first coming to Memphis, JaMychal was the top prospect in the NBA Development League, and he has impressed us both in games and in practice during his tenure with the Grizzlies,” Wallace said. “JaMychal is not only a gifted athlete with tremendous upside but he is a humble, very hard working individual who has quickly earned the respect of his new teammates.”

Green (6-9, 227) has made four appearances with Memphis this season, averaging 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 3.8 minutes and scoring eight points on 3-of-3 shooting in his Grizzlies debut on Feb. 6 at Minnesota. Green first signed with Memphis on a 10-day contract as a Call-Up from the NBA Development League’s Austin Spurs on Feb. 1 and signed a second 10-day contract on Feb. 19. In his first NBA season, Green has recorded 2.0 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.0 minutes in eight total games with the Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs.

The 24-year-old averaged 23.0 points on .577 shooting, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.55 blocks in 31.8 minutes in 20 games (all starts) this season with Austin. The NBA D-League Player of the Month for games in December, Green ranked sixth in the D-League in scoring and rebounding per game and tied for seventh in double-doubles (15) before his Call-Up to the Grizzlies (among players with at least 10 games played).

Undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Montgomery, Ala. native averaged 13.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.72 blocks in 123 games over four seasons at the University of Alabama. He played 25 games for Chorale Roanne of the LNB Pro A League in France during the 2013-14 season.

Gasol vs Gasol in All-Star game tonight

Here’s ESPN Chicago with a look at one of the most interesting storylines heading into tonight’s 2015 All-Star game, that Pau Gasol starts for the East while his brother Marc Gasol starts for the West:

pau gasol

The basketball world is caught up in the Gasol vs. Gasol storyline heading into Sunday night’s All-Star Game.

Even the king.

“I think it’s amazing,” Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star LeBron James said, in regard to the fact that both Pau and Marc Gasol will be starting in Sunday’s game.

“I think it’s so awesome. I think it’s so cool, for the first time in our history, we see two brothers face off against each other in the All-Star Game. They’re great, both of them, Pau and Marc. They’re unbelievable, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

marc gasol

That seems to be the sentiment around the league. As the Gasol brothers continue to answer questions about their accomplishments from journalists all over the world, especially a crush from Spain that has chronicled their every move, it’s been interesting to listen to other All-Stars’ reactions about what the Gasols have accomplished.

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