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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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Marcus Smart

This is a bit of a weird pick since he has yet to play a single game for the team, but what I wouldn’t give to see into the mind of Smart, someone who plays like he’s powered by a hamster wheel, but the hamster has pure sugar and caffeine injected into its veins before every NBA game.

Smart saw a decade of Celtics teams and some pretty exciting ones at that. Some of my personal favorites: 5’9” Isaiah Thomas playing at an MVP level, Kyrie Irving’s antics coinciding with the dawn of Jayson Tatum’s greatness, and the total flameout of Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward while Tatum and Jaylen Brown slowly took over the team.

But Smart always thought he was the alpha, which has got to be an interesting headspace to inhabit. By my count, he has played with eight players who were at least probably better than him, but you wouldn’t know it by watching the games. Smart has a trigger finger that is ready to roll at any moment, as well as a deep bag of hero hustle plays, defensive chaos, and post moves that work at astounding rates.

In Boston, he was a legend, and maybe the most involved Celtic in the community. His charity work went above and beyond, and his relationship with the area’s hospitals made cardboard cutouts of Smart a mainstay. Memphis is getting a gamer and a real one.

Question: How does one perfect the jump-out-of-bounds-and-throw-the-ball-off-a-guy play?

Smart is an elite practitioner of that move, and I’d love to know how he does it. Does he just launch himself into the air, caring only about the ball and his target, with no regard for his own safety? Is there some secret ninja technique only learned after one has achieved enlightenment and mastered themselves emotionally? Maybe you just have to feel it. Who knows?