Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Grizzlies may be doomed here....

Yes, it's just that bad. The fact that the Grizz, with the worst record in the NBA, got the 4th pick in the upcoming NBA draft, means that we'll only see Greg Oden when Portland comes to town and Kevin Durant when Seattle visits the FedExForum.

This franchise, which went from three straight playoff runs to the bottom of the NBA in a heartbeat, now has to convince a grumpy populace that Corey Brewer or Al Horford can bring that championship magic with them from Gainesville. Given that A) the U of M Tigers are predicted to be a Final Four team and B) the Grizzlies are expected to be staring up from the bottom this coming year, Grizz season-ticketholders can expect to be pretty lonely this fall.

Michael Heisley is no doubt learning that a professional sports franchise, especially one in a lower-income market like Memphis, simply cannot be turned around for a quick profit like other companies.

His attempts to sell this franchise to anyone appearing to have money (EXCEPT his LOCAL partners!) crippled Jerry West's ability to build on the previous three years. And, not to leave the Logo out of the blame, the Rudy Gay deal simply has not panned out, while Shane Battier went to the Rockets and proved to be their missing link, returning Houston to the playoffs. Of course, the Rockets went out in the first round like the Griz had, but at least their series went to a 7th game!

So, Heisley can put some money into the franchise, hire a combo like Dave Griffin and Marc Iavaroni of Phoenix, pray that they can make honey out of horseshit, and turn the franchise around. Or, he could treat the team like the western version of the Atlanta Hawks and lose his ass.

Given that we had three remarkable years of Tiger football with DeAngelo Williams and three solid playoff years with the Grizz, only to watch everything but Tiger hoops turn to crap, maybe our sports karma has taken a turn for the worse. Unless the Griz make a trade to get up in the top two, crowds of 7500 may be commonplace for the NBA at FedExForum this year.

That's not good for anyone.


autoegocrat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cranky old fart said...

In an attempt to make lemonade here, we may now be able to get the local ownership so necessary to the franchise going forward.

Heisley may now be willing to talk turkey with Cates et al and get the hell out of here.

(don't tell Heisley this, but, ya know, this team ain't really all that bad. With a healthy Pau and Lowery, plenty of cap room and a good #4 pick, we might actually win a few games....)

Desi Franklin said...

I'm with Cranky Old Fart.

I'll be there come hell or high water. Remember how BAD the Griz were until Hubie came to town? My son used to tell me to quit yelling at J Will's attempts to be a one man band. Then we thought they were fabulou for a few years. It's only been one really bad year. We gotta hang with them - they're our team.

mike said...

crowds of 7500 may be commonplace

There's a clause in the City's contract with Hoops that is triggered if average attendance falls below a certain number. I want to say 12,500 but it might be a bit lower. If that happens the City is required to pay Hoops something like $1 million, a guarantee against "lost" revenues.

That would be political dynamite. So be careful what you wish for.