Ever since the Grizzlies arrived in Memphis eight years ago, they have tried, and ultimately failed, at righting the ship .
There was the hire of Hubie Brown, which resulted in the franchise’s first playoff appearance in 2004, during the last season at the Pyramid Arena and ended with Brown moving back to the broadcast booth.
Another broadcaster-turned-coach Mike Fratello followed Brown and led the Grizz to the 2005 and 2006 playoffs, only to be let go in the middle of the 2006-07 season giving the Grizzlies their fourth coach since moving here in 2001 in Marc Iavanori.
And like Fratello, Iavanori, who I met during the draft day party at the Flying Saucer on South Second Street in May of last year, would receive his walking papers on January 22nd, a day after the Grizzlies lost to the Charlotte Bobcats for their seventh straight loss.
Personally, I always thought when O.J. Mayo arrived in Memphis the fortunes of the franchise would change, which happens to be the same blind hope that most Grizzlies fans have every year after Rudy Gay/Mike Conley/Shane Battier held a Grizzlies jersey up and said to the world that they were a member of the Grizz.
Trust me, I did.
But when you continuously dish out a disinterested product on the court, filled with, in the words of Geoff Calkins, players that really don’t want to be here in the Bluff City and have a fan base of 5 and 6 year-olds waving pom poms and poor drunks on the corner of North Third and Jefferson begging for change so that they can get a fifth of Jack Daniel’s, then you have to wonder what is really going on in Michael Heisley’s head.
Why would an owner trade the only All-Star the franchise has ever had, as well as the all-time leading scorer in franchise history, only to see him walk to a team filled with a certain Hall-of-Famer and a nucleus of young talent that actually made it to that year’s NBA Finals?
Why would an owner trade two players that were part of that three-year run and in turn would win NBA Championships with their clubs?
I mean, why?
It’s time to face the music, Mr. Heisley.