Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons says he’s healthy for training camp.
Ronald Tillery/The Commercial Appeal
We now know that David Fizdale would take a knee with his players, Chandler Parsons won’t go to Mexico for All-Star break and Marc Gasol is “absolutely” happy to be a Memphis Grizzly. Here are 15 more intriguing/compelling/amusing quotes from the Grizzlies media day.
1. Grizzlies vice president John Hollinger on Austin Nichols: “You might end up seeing him in Southaven.”
Comment: Nichols, the former Memphis Tigers, spent time working out with the Grizzlies this summer. Don’t be at all surprised when he ends up playing for the Memphis Hustle.
2. Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale on what he likes about this season: “The unknown. I love the challenge of the unknown.”
Comment: That’s a nice way to look at the year, isn’t it? And maybe it’s something for the fans to embrace, too. The Grizzlies have been a lot of admirable things over the past seven seasons, but they haven’t been intriguing. This team is nothing if not intriguing.
3. Fizdale on who will start at shooting guard: “I’m going to roll the ball out and see which bulldog wants it.”
Comment: With Ben McLemore out with an injury, the Grizzlies will start either Wayne Selden or Tyreke Evans at shooting guard. Fizdale is declaring this an open competition.
4. Fizdale on his decision to install forward-facing built-in chairs in the new locker room: “I specifically did that so nobody can hide when times get tough.”
Comment: Fizdale didn’t want the players to have chairs that spin around, or chairs that can face into the lockers. He wants everyone facing out, looking at each other. So while Fizdale said he learned last year that he can’t “force” leadership, he still plans to foster it.
5. Wayne Selden on the crowd around his table: “I sat at the same seat last year, there weren’t as many people here.”
Comment: Have to hand it to Selden, who came to Grizzlies camp last year, didn’t make the team, was picked up and then played well enough to earn a guaranteed contract and a shot at a starting position.
6. Chandler Parsons on whether he looks forward to being asked less about his knees: “I feel like you guys will still ask about it.”
Comment: Here’s hoping that Parsons turns out to be a productive player again, because he’s an easy guy to like. Parsons was suitably humble and self-deprecating at this media day.
7. Mike Conley on whether he was encouraged after playing pick-up with Parsons: “I was very encouraged when he came down the middle of the lane and dunked on two people. I don’t know if he was doing that before the injury.”
Comment: Nice to hear, right? But I’ll believe Parsons is healthy enough to play a full season when I see him play a full season.
8. Rade Zagorac on how to pronounce his last name: “Zag-o-ritz.”
Comment: Glad we got that settled.
9. Zagorac on what he’s learned about Memphis: “I didn’t know I’m so big fan of barbecue.”
Comment: I didn’t know I’m so big fan of Zargorac.
10. Marc Gasol on matching up against Zach Randolph: “He already knows what will happen. I feel bad for him.”
Comment: This will be fun — and bittersweet — to watch.
11. Marc Gasol on his favorite vegetable: “I really like eggplants.”
Comment: Gasol spent some time talking about the joys of gardening, calling it a form of meditation. Asked to name his favorite produce, he started with tomato then switched to eggplant.
12. Gasol on Grizzlies owner Robert Pera: “He signed me, he signed Mike, he signed Chandler He rebuilt the whole building inside and out.”
Comment: Gasol said he actually tells Pera the team would like to see him at games more often, but he plainly has great respect for the Grizzlies owner.
13. Mike Conley on whether FedExForum can still be called the Grindhouse: “You’ve got to ask Tony.”
Comment: It’ll clearly be the Grindhouse for now. But will the name stick? Only if the team continues to earn it.
14. Conley on what it will be like to play Tony Allen: “I have a hard foul for Allen.”
Comment: Conley was laughing.
15. Conley on whether he’ll have a hard foul for Zach Randolph: “No.”
Comment: Wise man, that Conley.