Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Grizzly Bear Blues site manager Joe Mullinax joins the HAA guys to talk Ja Morant and all things Memphis Grizzlies.

The Memphis Grizzlies have been one of the best stories in the NBA this season. Few franchises are able to make the transition from an era of basketball defined by consistently making the playoffs to a rebuilding phase with few missteps, but the Grizzlies have done just that.

The “Grit and Grind” era may be a thing of the past, but under the stewardship of general manager Zach Kleiman and head coach Taylor Jenkins, the Grizzlies currently sit in the eighth seed in a powerful Western Conference with rising young talent and cap flexibility.

Site manager of SB Nation’s Grizzly Bear Blues, Joe Mullinax hopped on the Hoops Addicts Anonymous podcast with hosts Geoff Campbell and Chip Murphy to shed some light into one of the more impressive turnarounds in the NBA.

Mullinax opened up the discussion by talking about Ja Morant’s importance to the organization and transition from the college ranks to the pros.

“Memphis is about those unique connections, I can’t stress enough…like people judge Memphis when Tony Allen retires or Zach Randolph retires…and people say why is Tony Allen getting his number retired? Tony Allen isn’t a good basketball player, he can’t make a basket. That shows that they don’t understand the Grizzlies.”

Mullinax goes on to explain, “And Ja Morant is a much better basketball player than Tony Allen in terms of talent. But he has a similar mindset and that’s what is really having Memphis fall in love with him.”

Mullinax also touched on the Grizzlies chemistry in spite of a very public dispute between veteran Andre Iguodala and the team’s front office. Igoudala made it clear that he had no intention of playing in Memphis and wanted the team to move mountains in order to trade him. Still, the Grizzlies’ culture and youth movement have been a model that NBA teams will try to mimic in the future.

“The chemistry is off the charts. Even the older guys like a Jonas Valanciunas loves the chemistry and talks about it. Kyle Anderson played for Gregg Popovich, says this is the closest team he’s ever been a part of, and that’s pretty high praise. So I do think that they care about each other, they play for one another, and again, that’s unique in professional sports.”

Another great conversation as part of HAA’s NBA A-Z series. The Memphis Grizzlies will be an exciting team to watch as the NBA begins its restart towards the end of July. Mullinax was a fantastic guest and NBA fans should definitely give him a follow on Twitter and check out all the good stuff he has going on over at the Grizzly Bear Blues website.

ESNY staff reports.