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Memphis Grizzlies: The End of the Grit N’ Grind Era

When the Memphis Grizzlies traded point guard Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz, it marked the official end of the Grit N Grind era.

The Grizzlies' core four that embodied Grit N Grind basketball in Memphis
Mike Conley's trade spells the official end of the Grit N Grind era

The Memphis Grizzlies traded franchise scoring leader Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz Wednesday. As a result, it spelled the official end of the Grit N’ Grind era.

An era that captured the hearts of a blue collar town with their toughness and togetherness. An era that produced one of the longest playoff streaks in the NBA over the last 15 years.

The Core Four

Conley was the last of the “core four” players that embodied Grit N’ Grind basketball in Memphis. He will no doubt take his place on the Mount Rushmore of Grizzlies greats along with Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Tony Allen (who coined the phrase Grit N Grind).

Grit N’ Grind became a brand in the 2010-11 season when the eighth seed Grizzlies knocked off the number one seed San Antonio Spurs.

Memphis went on to the conference semifinals where they fell to the OKC Thunder in seven hard-fought games. It was the Grizzlies’ first taste of playoff success after being swept in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

But it certainly wouldn’t be their last.

Sustained Success

Memphis made seven straight playoff appearances with the core four from 2010-2017. One of only three teams to accomplish the feat during that stretch. They peaked in 2014 when they reached the Western Conference Finals.

The Grit and Grind Grizzlies produced 29 playoff victories and multiple All Star appearances. Gasol was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, and Allen was voted First or Second Team All Defense in six of the seven years.

The city of Memphis will forever hold a special place in their hearts for this group.

End of an era

The dismantling of the Grit and Grind era couldn’t have been handled with more class.

Allen currently contributes to a local sports radio show in Memphis. The Grizzlies retired Randolph’s jersey last season, and Gasol won a championship with the Raptors this season.

It is only fitting that a punctuation mark is placed on the end of the Grit N Grind era as Memphis starts a new era with Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Shaun Longo

    June 29, 2019 at 3:18 am

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

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