The Spurs finished their thoroughly unsurprising sweep of a bunch of guys wearing Grizzlies jerseys today, backhoeing a final heap of dirt onto Memphis’ season. In the final moments of the 116-95 thumping, Grizzlies fans stood and applauded their team’s efforts, which is usually the sort of shit you do for no one past junior high ball, except this year was a straight-up Jackass outtake reel for Memphis.
Here’s everyone who Grizzed for the Grizz for the year.
Memphis set an NBA record by putting a total of 28 players on their roster during the season. (A coach could build 98,280 different starting lineups out of that platoon.) The Commercial Appeal has bravely assembled a sort of yearbook countdown of your departed dozens; sample entry for Bryce Cotton: “The 28th man. The record reflects that he has appeared on the floor.” But it’s still a challenge to name the whole roster even given this list. You probably recognize several of those dudes in the first two columns—Birdman! Super Mario! Z-Bo! Vinsanity! Plus Matt Barnes ‘n’ Lance Stephenson, a.k.a. nitro and glycerine—and one or two, max, in those second columns. It’s like a D-League mixer where no one checked IDs at the door. It’s like a joke fax in a draft-day war room. It’s the “I’m Feeling Lucky” result of Googling “what is a ten day contract lol.” It’s the callback list for The Expendables 5.
In all seriousness, David Joerger might be the coach of the year for dragging this junkyard to Memphis’ sixth straight playoff appearance. His tear-soaked press conference after the loss was maybe the most heartfelt thing that happened after a game in the NBA this year: “They could’ve quit. They could’ve not made the playoffs. And every day they came out and they fought like crazy.” Alas, Grizzlies, we hardly knew ye. And I suspect you feel the same of one another.