“An Embarrassment” Stephen A Smith Calls Out The Memphis Grizzlies

rsz ja morant dillon brooks
rsz ja morant dillon brooks

The Memphis Grizzlies had plenty to say in front of the cameras and microphones during the 2022-23 regular season, but things have been quiet for a couple of weeks now. On Monday morning, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith decided to fill the silence.

Stephen A Smith Sounds Off On The Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies played in a drama-fueled first round series against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. And thanks to some of their antics that energized their opponents, the 2-seeded Grizzlies were sent packing after a first round upset.

They were one of the most polarizing teams in the league this season, and when asked about them on ESPN’s First Take, Smith didn’t hold back on his feelings.

“They look like damn jokes. They were an embarrassment…They didn’t lose, they got their a*s kicked”

Smith pointed to a few of the factors about the Grizzlies that rubbed him the wrong way. He alluded to the now-infamous “I poke bears” comment made by Dillon Brooks, and said that Brooks would be lucky to be back in a Grizzlies uniform next season. He then pointed out that Ja Morant was seen laughing on the bench during a blowout loss to the Lakers, citing unprofessionalism.

Smith’s co-host agreed and added to the thoughts. Kendrick Perkins pointed more to the Memphis Grizzlies team culture as a whole, dating back to the regular season. He questioned why someone would work so hard to get to the NBA, only to have their careers affected by their off-court antics.

“You’re not gangsters. You’re not goons. You’re basketball players. I appreciate the competitive nature, but leave all that outside stuff to the outside world.”

These are just two of the many strong opinions that have been laid out against the Grizzlies since their season ended. The team didn’t go quietly into the night, though. Morant was seen being heckled by fans outside of Crypto.com Arena, but was smiling and playing along with their jeers. Brooks said in an exit interview that he didn’t regret anything he said about James or the Lakers, and even took one small final jab at LeBron.

Most of the same roster should be returning for the 2023-24 season for the Memphis Grizzlies. Essentially their entire rotation is still under contract for at least one more year, except for Brooks, who is now a free agent.

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