While NBA All-Star snubs are cause for frustration, the Memphis Grizzlies’ Mike Conley finds off-court impact as the most satisfying part of his job.
This is nothing new to the NBA veteran point guard of 12 seasons. Just last season, Conley was a finalist for the season-long NBA Community Assist award. While the Grizzlies’ conductor may not receive as much credit as he deserves for on-court impact, he does get acknowledgement for the things larger than basketball.
Recently, Beale Street Bears discussed Mike Conley’s prominence among all other NBA players age 30 and above. His top peers are some of the game’s current greats as well as many current and former NBA All-Stars. Mike is the lone star without an appearance in the annual NBA All-Star Game.
By now, fans of the Memphis Grizzlies — in addition to Conley himself — are more than accustomed to All-Star snubs. Blame it on the tough backcourt competition spread throughout the NBA’s Western Conference. Blame it on the small market which emcompasses the Grizzlies franchise.
Whatever you may want to call it, it does not change history. By title, Mike Conley is not an NBA All-Star. In considering his season-over-season statistics and the Grizzlies’ triumphs over the past decade, this hurts Grizz Nation. However, it does not hurt Mike.
Following the NBA’s announcement earlier in the week that Mike Conley had been selected for the recipient of January’s NBA Community Assist award, he discussed what the aspect of giving back to the city of Memphis means to him.
“Honestly, that’s one of the more important things in life. Doing stuff for other people in communities, and I’m very entrenched in the Memphis community, and along with everything we are able to do — not just myself, but as the Grizzlies organization.”
The Memphis Grizzlies have consistently had good character guys on their squad. In 2007 when the Front Office snagged Mike Conley at the NBA Draft, they not only hit the pick out of the park based off his on-court performances, but he could not have been a better representative off the hardwood.
As the Grizzlies prepare to move into their rebuilding phase, all eyes now rest upon rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. The Michigan State product is another fourth overall pick that is very likeable and has all the tools to excel on the court, yet he also looks to be a major presence in the Memphis community.
Though Jackson Jr. has a lot of hype surrounding his potential as an NBA big man, Mike Conley’s shoes will be difficult to fill both on and off the court. Community defines the Memphis Grizzlies and their players.