The Memphis Grizzlies have gone from the NBA darlings last season to one of the biggest, if not the biggest, villains of the league this season.
After shocking the NBA world by jumping all the way to the second seed in the Western Conference despite being such a young team, this season has seen the NBA world sour on Memphis from their star controversy, a ton of fighting, and all the trash-talking.
Every league needs a villain, but this is a unique example of a team becoming a villain without winning championships or having one of the top five players in the league. Nonetheless, this is how the Grizzlies have become the new villains.
The Excessive Scuffles
One of the biggest irritations that fans and players have had with the Grizzlies is their constant fighting. The Grizzlies have been in multiple scuffles with the likes of Shannon Sharpe, The Los Angeles Lakers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Indiana Pacers.
All these scuffles in one season have been excessive for any NBA team. Much of this has to do with guard Dillon Brooks, who is seemingly at the forefront of most of the scuffles, but the Grizzlies seem to back him and have made it a part of their identity at this point.
Too Much Trash Talking?
The Grizzlies have been one of the biggest trash-talking teams this season, with many such as Shaq, Charles Barkley, Etc, calling out the Grizzlies, saying that they have talked too much trash. Famously, last month, Dillion Brooks was talking trash about Draymond Green, about how lucky he was to be on the Warriors because he would not be as good of a player elsewhere.
Ja Morant has also stated in an interview that he is not worried about any team in the West.
Ja Morant Shift
It seems as though, due to Morant’s antics on and off the court, fans have turned on the superstar. Morant was one of the most exciting players in the NBA, and everybody could get behind his exciting dunks and passion for the game. However, after all of the scuffles with the Grizzlies, and now the issue of Morant threatening players on the Pacers, turned some fans off of the young star.
That only heightened after Morant was on Instagram live this week, flashing a gun that he had, forcing the NBA to suspend Morant for two games. The suspension may be even longer, as the Memphis Grizzlies themselves may have a longer suspension for the star.
It seems as though the feeling behind Morant by many is that he is attempting to live a life that is not true to him, and the world has quickly shifted on the leader of the now biggest NBA villains.
This could help build an “us against the world” mentality for the Grizzlies and be helpful or it could be the downfall of Memphis right away.