Teamwork makes the dream work.
Many of us have heard that saying before, even if we're not exactly sure where or when. It reflects optimism – something that the revamped Memphis Grizzlies team has a goodly amount of headed into the new season.
On Monday (Oct. 1), the Grizzlies held their 11th Media Day at the FedExForum downtown. A full roster of players walked into the media room. Yes, each with an optimistic attitude.
Power forward Zach Randolph, who missed a majority of last season due to injury, said he is healthy and ready to get back on the basketball court.
"I feel good," Randolph said. "I'm back to 100 percent. I'm ready to play."
Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said he is expecting three things from his players this season.
"I told our team this morning, our buzz words are sacrifice, trust and consistency," said Hollins
Randolph is on board.
"If we do that (sacrifice, trust and have consistency) and play together we, should be alright," he said.
Allen, the Grizz's starting No. 2 guard, said he realizes that Memphis has to continue to build consistency. "That's what I plan on doing," he said.
Starting point guard Mike Conley said he spent a large part of the summer reflecting on last season. He wants to give back to the citizens of Memphis who raised their level of support the past two seasons.
"I learned a lot from last season," Conley said. "We understand that the community is so involved with our team and I know how much the Grizzlies mean to the community. We feel like we let them down. We feel like we owe them something."
Memphis' five core players – Randolph, Allen, Conley, All-Star center Marc Gasol, and forward Rudy Gay – are all healthy. Factor in several other key returnees and three new additions and you have the carefully chosen team that some Grizz optimists view as the best team on paper in a very long time.
"It's more than having an elite superstar, you have to have a team," said General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace.
"We've got more depth now and outside shooting," Wallace said. "If we start making more shots, if the point guard position is not an issue, and we are healthy, we'll be a dangerous team."