GRIZZLES EXCITED ABOUT CAMP & REBUILDING
Have you been downtown lately? If you have you can see them from a mile away, and if you havent just get in your car and drive down fourth Street about a block south of Beale Street and you will see three cranes towering high in the sky above the New Memphis Arena while construction crews work feverishly to build a new Den for the Grizzlies.
Meanwhile, about a mile away on the north end of downtown inside the Pyramid, the new commitment to rebuilding a winning team for fans in Memphis also continues. In training camp Jayson Williams races down court and throws a no-look pass to Drew Gooden who slams it down for two points, and on the other end of the court Wesley Person is camped behind the three-point arc knocking down shots as if its mid season.
Its simply this building or rebuilding project includes 20 NBA Players working out for only 12 jerseys. And for Jerry West, Grizzlies president of basketball operations, having more talented players on the training camp roster is the first step toward creating an atmosphere where competition breeds success and at the same time players bid for starting jobs on the court.
I just think in environments where teams havent had a lot of success its not good for players to come to training camp and think theyve got a job made, said West. Another ingredient West employs in training camp for molding the Grizzlies into a team destined for a successful NBA season is bringing in several talented players at every position in effort to intensify workouts. Particularly in the back court were hopeful that we can build and they will come here and become a cohesive unit where were able to win, said West.
Grizzlies head coach Sidney Lowe is impressed with the quality of athletes who are taking part in the 20 man 20 day preseason training camp. I am excited with our training camp, says Lowe. Jerry (West) has brought in some additional talent that we needed at key positions. We should have some good competition during camp to earn positions and quality playing time for the upcoming season.
Another interesting addition during the off-season as part of the rebuilding project is Drew Gooden, the 610 former Kansas All-American and NBA lottery pick 4th overall who the Grizzlies highly coveted and believe has the upside to make an impact right away.
Hes got a bright future here, said West. Somebody that I think our coach wouldnt mind putting him into games and playing him right away which would be a plus for us.
If you would like to see the Grizzlies' rebuilding project yourself get in your car on Saturday, October 5th and drive downtown past the new area and you will see the three sky high cranes, then proceed to the Pyramid and enjoy the Grizzlies free public scrimmage including performances by team mascot Grizz and the Grizzlies Dance Team.
Keep in mind all seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and, to reiterate, the game is free for everyone. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. and tip-off is set for 9:30 a.m.