As Memphis fans it is second nature to hate almost every player on every other roster in the NBA. So pervasive is our love of hate that Chris Vernon does a “reasons to hate” segment before home games in which he and Jon Roser break down the reasons to hate every member of the opposing team’s roster. Rarely do we stop and ask ourselves, however, do other fans hate our players?
It is almost impossible to think how someone could hate Marc Gasol, Mike Conley or Tony Allen. Okay, if we’re being totally honest I think we can all understand why someone would hate TA. Nonetheless, how could people hate such a loveable bunch of blue-collar don’t-bluff guys? The other reason it is hard to fathom is because it is deeply engrained in our civic mentality to assume that nobody cares enough about us to have an opinion one way or the other.
In my preparation for this, I’ve tried to do some research on the interwebs in hopes of learning exactly what it is that people love to hate about the Grizzlies. Shockingly little was uncovered, unless it was about TA’s time in Boston or Zach’s time in Portland, New York and LA. As Jordan Conn of Grantland pointed out in footnote 1 of his recent article, there is just not much hate material out there on a guy like Marc Gasol. Perhaps the biggest slight is the absence of opinions.
So without further delay, I am going to try to do the unthinkable, the blasphemous and the absurd, and tell you what Clippers fans (both of the real ones and all of the “new” ones) hate about the Memphis Grizzlies. Grindfather, please forgive the words I am about to type...
Mike Conley – I don’t care what kind of “new Conley” the national media try to make you believe exists, Matt Moore nailed it in his rant following Conley’s contract extension. Best part? The signing was compared to walking into a BMW dealership and asking if the door-less Volvo on fire is for sale. The only reason Mike Conley is even in the NBA is because he played Robin to Greg Oden’s Batman from age 10 to 18. Its shameless how badly Mike Conley wishes he was Chris Paul. So do the Grizzlies, which is why the Grizzlies did their embarrassing Mick Conley, State Farm Agent bit two weeks ago.
Tony Allen – The only thing not to hate about Tony Allen is his twitter feed. The guy is a punk, straight up. And certifiably insane. The only thing more unpredictable than Allen’s personality is his offense. The only thing that makes Allen “one of the best perimeter defenders in the league” is that he is so unstable other players hesitate to challenge him. Paul, Bledsoe and Crawford could embarrass him at will, but worry about finding their cat beheaded when they get home from the game. And enough with the towel waving, man. You’re basically Nate Robinson without the jump shot.
Marc Gasol – He will still always just be Pau’s little brother that nobody really cares about. Gasol is basically Tim Duncan, except fat and white. The man has never actually committed a foul, if you asked him. Instead of the Duncan “palm up plea”, Gasol likes to pout, dramatically hug the ball and mumble something in Spanish. Seriously, for all the talk of his “cerebral and intuitive” play, he just finds ways to be efficient because he is too lazy to hustle. And cut the humble team-first bullshit. We see right through it.
Tayshaun Prince – Everyone talks about the big trade as the Grizzlies dumping Rudy Gay, but Detroit fans were overjoyed to be rid of Prince’s big, lanky, un-athletic contract. He is like a little Hasheem Thabeet – he is only in the NBA because of his size. The guy is 6-9 but his wingspan is recorded at 14ft. I think the best plan for the Clippers is to just bait Prince into taking 8-12 of his patented “two-steps-inside-the-arc” shots per game.
Zach Randolph – It would probably be easier to list the things not to hate about ZeeBoo. The guy is a straight thug. No wonder he is loved in Memphis – he IS Memphis. The fact that he and Tony Allen have survived in the same locker room for three seasons without going all “Arenas/Crittenden” on each other is a miracle, doubly so if you consider that Arenas was in that locker room for a minute too. Just like his running buddy Marc, Zach isn’t fooling anybody. He may pay some electric bills and keep his pimpin’ on the DL, but he hasn’t changed. He’s the same over-paid, over-weight criminal he was in Portland. The only thing that has matured is his sense of discretion. Oh, and his game. He was a 20/10 guy. Now he’s a 10/8 guy. Don’t believe what you hear, at this point all Randolph can do is bluff.
Jerryd Bayless – Dude spells his name like an idiot. Seriously, my spell check is about to explode because I won't correct it. And have you looked at a picture of him at Arizona next to a picture of him now? It’s like a fat Hispanic dude ate Bayless and assumed his identity. How sad is it that the best Bayless could parlay off a good year in Toronto was a 1 year deal in Memphis. Should have just gone to play in China with McGrady and the rest of the former Raptors.
Quincy Pondexter – what kind of name is that for a basketball player? I feel like he should wear Urkel glasses on the court. Or at least some Horace Grant goggles. I guess it is fitting that as the game gets taken over by the advanced stat crowd, they will naturally favor players with the dorkiest names. John Hollinger must love him, considering his name and his love of the Corner-3.
Ed Davis – I don’t even hate Ed Davis, I just feel sorry for him. He was getting serious run and developing in Toronto (which as Rudy Gay let us know is a far superior city to Memphis) and instead he is rotting on Lionel Hollins' bench behind the glass-man, Darrell Arthur. A moment of silence for the death of a promising NBA career.
Everyone else – (a) Keyon Dooling is playing again? (b) I thought Darrell Arthur would be a double-amputee by now; (c) Never heard of Leuer, Daye, Green, Reed or Wroten; (d) hate ‘em all anyways.
So there you have it. This is what opposing fans would say, if they took the time to care about hating the Grizzlies. They don’t, because they think they are better than us. Fuck them.
Now I need to go take a shower and wash the feeling of looking-at-the-Grizzlies-from-the-opposing-fans'-perspective off.
Grind on, Memphis.