Media Day has officially arrived, and kicking off the Monday morning festivities for the Memphis Grizzlies was head coach Taylor Jenkins, who sat down with the folks at Grind City Media to provide insight into and answer questions regarding the club’s upcoming campaign.
Discussed early and often during his initial round of Q&A’s was the addition of veteran Marcus Smart, who was acquired from the Celtics via multi-team blockbuster back in early July.
Known as being the “heart and soul” of Boston basketball during the majority of his nine-year tenure, the excitement for his arrival in the 38103 is through the roof, with many believing him to be an ideal mentor and leader for this talented yet still very young Grizzlies core.
During Jenkins’ sit down, Jessica Benson of the Jessica Benson Show asked where he sees Smart making the biggest difference “both on the court and off the court” for this team. In response, the headman provided nothing short of high praise for the 29-year-old and went as far as to refer to him as being “the ultimate winner”
Grizzlies coach praises Marcus Smart as being ‘the ultimate winner’
"“I think it’s going to be a multitude of things Jessica. He’s the ultimate competitor. You see him live that out every single day on the floor but what I’ve gotten to learn about him, even behind the scenes he brings that competitive juice in every single environment. It’s not just when the game lights are on. He’s the ultimate winner,” Jenkins said."
Jenkins would continue on to note that outside of his obvious on-court productivity, Smart has proven himself to be a winner based on the sacrifices he has been willing to make throughout his NBA career.
"“Winning takes sacrifice. I think he embodies that,” Jenkins said. “The different roles he played when he was in Boston. His accepting of what his responsibility was night in, night out… He’s going to add so much to our group [with] his voice, his presence, the energy that he brings.”"
When it comes to what Jenkins wants his new guard to be for this Grizzlies team, the coach put it rather simply: “Be Marcus Smart.”
Smart comes to the Grizzlies with an impressive resume that includes three All-Defensive selections, a 2022 Defensive Player of the Year award, and, since taking over full-time duties as a primary ball handler (a role he’ll likely be tasked with during Ja Morant’s 25 game suspension), boasts averages of 12.2 points, 6.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals.