While Joakim Noah showed some rust in his first game for the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, he held his own and brought some energy to the court, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic. Noah also played a little more than may have been expected, earning 13 minutes of action his debut, an indication that Memphis plans to make him a regular part of its rotation going forward.
For his part, the veteran center says he’s looking forward to helping his new team in any way he can and believes he can fit right in with the Grizzlies’ grit ‘n’ grind mentality.
“There’s a lot of really good young talent, and it’s a culture that has been known for its work ethic and its grind. And I pride myself on being one of those guys,” Noah said, per David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “So I just want to keep that culture going.”
Regarding Noah’s time in New York, Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he has “no questions” about the way things ended between Noah and the Knicks, as Cobb relays for The Memphis Commercial Appeal. According to Sankofa, Noah said this week that he has “nothing bad to say” about the Knicks and is focused on contributing in Memphis.
Here’s more on the Grizzlies:
- Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian confirms (via Twitter) that Noah’s new one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Grizzlies is fully guaranteed.
- In a conversation with Michael Lee of The Athletic, longtime Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley talked about transitioning to a new stage of his career and his desire to finally make his first All-Star team. “I look for respect and to try to earn the respect of a lot of people,” Conley said. “If you make the All-Star team and you get the label next your name, for whatever reason, people will think, ‘Oh, yeah, he’s good now.’ But if you don’t have it, it’s, ‘Well, he’s never made it, he’s never done anything, so why would you think he’s any better than this guy or the next guy.’ It kind of keeps me under this glass ceiling that I’m trying to bust through.”
- The Grizzlies are one of five teams that Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports believes should consider “blowing it up” sooner rather than later. Despite Memphis’ solid start to the season, Smith suggests that the team doesn’t currently have championship upside, and should consider targeting more young talent to complement building blocks like rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. and second-year forward Dillon Brooks.