The Memphis Grizzlies’ regular season starts next Wednesday, so in keeping with Memphis magazine tradition (started last year with this post), I thought it seemed like a good time to revisit last year’s predictions and make some new ones. The Grizzlies are still adjusting to a great deal of change: David Fizdale is the new head coach, Chandler Parsons is the new face on the roster, the big men are shooting three-pointers, rookies are playing, cats and dogs are lying together, etc.
First, the recap: I got almost every single prediction wrong. Tony Allen disrupted no more dance exhibitions. There were no intra-squad personal fouls (though, given that 28 different players suited up for the Grizzlies due to injury last year, one could easily forgive a guy for forgetting who was actually on the team). The only thing I really nailed: I didn’t participate in any BattleBallz activity. In fact, no one did, because one of the participants was injured during a preseason trial run and they never brought them back out again; they may be gone forever.
So, given that stellar track record, here are some new predictions for this, a new season with many new faces.
- Since injuries were such a prominent issue for the team last year, the 2016-17 Grizzlies will become the first team in NBA history to wrap all five players in head-to-toe bubble wrap. It works for Amazon Prime, so why wouldn’t it work for Mike Conley?
- Speaking of Mike Conley, he signed a five-year, $150+ million contract this summer, and also signed a new shoe deal with the Jordan brand. At some point, he’ll wear shoes woven from $100 bills, because how else are you going to spend that much money when you work as much as an NBA player does?
- Chandler Parsons, the biggest free agent ever signed by the Grizzlies, though he’s still not cleared for full contact, 5-on-5 activity, will play in a game for the Memphis Grizzlies at some point this season. (How’s that for optimistic?)
- The Grizzlies promotional staff will finally run out of things to print on the ubiquitous yellow Growl Towels and will just start allowing the highest bidder to sponsor them. This will open the door for It’s All Good Auto Sales and the remaining CK’s Coffee Shop locations (I can’t even remember whether there’s one beyond the lone outpost at Poplar and Belvedere) to split sponsorship of one that will read “We don't care about your credit, we care about your PAUL BUNYAN BREAKFAST”
- At some point, Marc Gasol will finally head the ball into the basket during a timeout. He’s been trying this for years, and I’m not sure I’ve seen him do it yet. Watch him during breaks in the action — always trying to make a 6-foot jumpshot with his head.
I was overly confident in last year’s predictions. This year, I guarantee that at least one of these will come true. This is the year. Things are different with the Grizzlies, and I can see the future.