By: Christian Dudley (@ChristianDudley)
It may have taken JaMychal Green some time to stick on an NBA roster, but he looks to have found his niche with the Memphis Grizzlies -- and vice-versa.
The Memphis Grizzlies have had a tightknit roster in recent years. The franchise has been extremely careful with personnel changes and additions. If a player is not down with the grit, grind, heart, and defense, they likely will not last in M-Town.
A culture has formed around the city of Memphis. The Grizzlies are a representation of the 901.
Some say that this style of basketball will not lead a team to success in today’s NBA. After all, the latest World Champs play run-and-gun basketball. Even if this is the current trend, the Grizz are not copycats. Memphis wants to write their own story.
The Grizzlies typically leave one roster spot – for a 15th man – open during the beginning of each new season. Last season, after experimenting with midseason signings of names such as Patrick Christopher and Tyrus Thomas, Memphis was not satisfied. Continuing their search, they landed upon a fine prospect in which had ties with the San Antonio Spurs.
JaMychal Green was the name. A 6’9” forward out of Alabama, grinding was his game.
Green’s journey endured its fair share of trips between the D-League, training camp invites, and short stints in the NBA. He only played four regular season games with the Spurs until receiving interest from another team in the Southwest Division.
The club was none other than the Memphis Grizzlies.
Something was special about JaMychal Green. He posted solid statistics in the NBDL, but so do plenty of other opportunistic prospects. He emerged from the pack because he was a bully in the paint. He had a relentless attitude accompanying himself on the court while being a humble individual off of it.
These qualities perfectly describe the ideal Grizzly.
A 10-day contract was handed to Green. And then another. Now, in the 2015-16 season, he is a rising threat on Memphis’ bench. However, he had to prove himself in few chances last season.
Once joining the Grizzlies in 2014-15, JaMychal appeared in 20 games, including one start. Although he was technically “the 15th man” during the season, the ex-Alabama big man used his hustle and muscle to outplay fellow Grizz teammate (at the time) and second round Draft selection Jarnell Stokes.
Green’s rookie year became highlighted with a 13-point, 6-rebound outing for a shorthanded Grizz squad on national television versus the Washington Wizards. Though just a rookie, JaMyke seemed as if he had veteran swagger flowing through his blood.
In this year’s training camp, Green had a strong showing. Originally a 10-day contract signing in which the Grizzlies took a flyer, excellent value has been found in the form of the combo forward.
Memphis has struggled mightily in the early season. They currently sit at a 5-6 record following a win in Minnesota, where JaMychal Green posted a team-high +/- rating of a +13. There have been many disappointments in the first three weeks of the Grizzlies’ season; however, the silver lining through it all has definitely been the emergence of JaMychal.
Remember, JaMyke began as a 10-day contract signing. Now the journeyman is a key contributor and is leading the Grizz in positive production on some nights.
This is only the beginning of Green’s tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies. His impressive 12-point, 12- rebound performance in a win against the Sacramento Kings displayed an array of things that he can do to help his team. From acrobatic put-back dunks to extended jump-shooting, JaMyke adds some versatility to the team that they have been needing desperately in seasons’ pasts.
Though the Grizz do not focus solely on developing their youth, the 25-year-old Green is ready for increased action. He is made for the NBA. He is made to be a Memphis Grizzly.
JaMychal Green’s emergence into a solid contributor and high-energy guy may not only be one of the final pieces to their championship puzzle. He is a key to getting the Grizz headed into the right direction to overcome their current losing record.