The 5 Most interesting Grizzlies for the 2023-24 Season

Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The NBA is a character’s league.

I’ve heard it called a star’s league, but I personally like to think of the league as the sum of its greatest characters. The 13-man rosters are too small to contain some of the larger-than-life personalities, and social media basically hands them a megaphone and tells them to go crazy.

The NBA is chock-full of guys you’d love to spend an afternoon with, as well as dudes who you’d maybe rather not spend more than ten minutes with. In any case, here are my power rankings of the players I’d want to get a few drinks with and ask the real questions:

1. Damian Lillard—I have to know if there’s a ramen place in Portland that’s just so good it’s preventing him from leaving, because then I need to go there myself.

2. Kevin Durant—By all accounts, he’s an awesome hang. I also need the real story of his Brooklyn breakup, and how many people cried during the process.

3. Steve Kerr—He’s like an all-time spiritual dude, but he’s also seen some things in his time. Michael Jordan stories would be nice, but what I’m really here for is a first-person account of the Jail Blazers Era. I cannot get enough of that.

It’s a shame—except it isn’t really—that Dillon Brooks is leaving because before his departure, the Memphis Grizzlies might have been the most character-laden team in the league. The emotional situation of this team was box office stuff down the stretch of the season, and a potential lack of veterans in the room, while problematic for actually winning basketball games, led to a very interesting room.

So in a bit of a sleepy offseason for the Grizzlies, I thought we would rank the best characters on the team, as well as which questions I would most like to ask them. If you disagree, think I’m a total moron, or would like to propose a different question to ask, feel free to let me know on Twitter. Maybe Steven Adams will even respond to us.

5. Steven Adams

Speaking of which, I have no doubt in my mind that Steven Adams would be a positively awesome guy to hang out with. He has more siblings than I have pairs of socks, cooler tattoos than should be allowed, and apparently was more important to the Grizzlies’ success than prime Wilt Chamberlain.

Once Adams got injured, the Grizzlies began skidding out of contention for the first seed in the Western Conference. Memphis then drew a disastrous matchup in the playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers, who—facing the Adams-less and newly Brandon Clarke-less Grizzlies—overpowered them with their size and physicality.

But that’s not what this article is all about. Adams has been a first-hand witness to some of the most interesting seasons in the past decade. As a young player, he saw much of Kevin Durant’s prime on the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as helping Russell Westbrook pad his stats in order to average a triple-double on his way to an MVP season (I’m kidding, but only kind of).

After the Thunder, he witnessed rookie Zion Williamson on the New Orleans Pelicans, a player more akin to a religious experience than a normal basketball human. He then showed up in Memphis to be the calm, stoic face behind a sometimes lunatic Grizzlies team. What a career.

Question: Who is the single wackiest guy you’ve ever played with? 

Wherever we were to meet up, I’d imagine Adams would take a single sip of his preferred drink, gaze off into the distance, and let off a single, reflective chuckle. Heh, he would say. Russ was pretty nuts.