Grit-‘N’-Grind 2.0: How the Memphis Grizzlies Finally Joined the Modern NBA

January 6th, 2017 by Josh Martin Leave a reply »

LOS ANGELES — The Memphis Grizzlies don't own a Larry O'Brien Trophy. They've never won a game during the conference finals, let alone appeared in the NBA Finals during their 21 years in the league (the first six of which were in Vancouver).

But they do have pictures of the trophy prominently displayed in the hallway leading from their locker room to the court at FedExForum. It's one of head coach David Fizdale's many personal touches and another not-so-subtle nod to the Grizzlies' grander plan of upgrading the organization from perennial Western Conference pest to legitimate title contender.

"I think sometimes when new coaches take over, it's always, 'Let's change everything,'" Fizdale explained. "That wasn't my attitude when I came to this team. They had a lot of stuff in place that was working for them.

"What we had to do was take that and adapt it to the league that we play in today—being able to defend the three-point line, being able to get up enough threes to equalize the three-point line—but with the same exact toughness and grind-and-grit attitude ...

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