Truth bomb dropped on 'harsh reality' of Grizzlies' offseason decisions

Nov 10, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart (36) reacts during the
Nov 10, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart (36) reacts during the / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Over these past five seasons, the Memphis Grizzlies have managed to establish themselves as one of the game's premiere up-and-coming squads considering they've qualified for the playoffs on three separate occasions, clinched their first postseason series win in nearly a decade, and, over the last two years, finished with the second-best record in the Western Conference standings.

What has made these successes all the more impressive, however, is the fact that the team has done so with their top-billed talents Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane all in their early-to-mid 20s.

Of course, despite these positive trends, throughout this youth-filled era, it has become apparent that the team, though wildly talented, lacks veteran leadership which, in almost every example of past title winners, has proven to be an extremely valuable commodity.

With this reality, this past offseason the front office opted to address this aspect of their rotation by acquiring several seasoned talents with experience serving as leaders in the NBA, with Marcus Smart and Derrick Rose being the most noteworthy additions of the bunch.

Of course, fast forward just over a month into the campaign and it appears these once-celebrated decisions have yet to result in anything more than one of the worst starts in franchise history, as the club finds itself currently tied for the second-worst mark in the entire association.

Offseason decisions made by Grizzlies receive 'harsh' analysis

Amid their lackluster start to the year, both Smart and Rose have been honest with their displeasure regarding the team's efforts to this point and, unfortunately, it appears their vocalized grievances have not yet influenced an uptick in production from their cohorts.

And while some may view their actions as a bit harsh, Grind City Media's Michael Wallace recently explained why this is what the Grizzlies agreed to receive when opting to bring them aboard this summer.

"Between Marcus Smart and Derrick Rose's comments, there's some truth. There's a lot of truth in that. There's a lot of harsh reality and some criticism there that you have to look in the mirror as a team and say: 'Hey, we brought these guys in here claiming all offseason we needed veteran voices, guys that would clean up the locker room, and mature this team.' This is the other side of that."

Michael Wallace on Grizzlies veterans

Wallace would continue on to note that both veterans are individuals who "aren't afraid to speak their mind, aren't afraid to be who they are," and these types of attributes are extremely vital and have been on full display since the moment they called the 38103 home.

The most recent example of this came during the team's latest blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves where, while down 20 points in the fourth period, Smart was seen reaming out his teammates for their "embarrassing" efforts on the night.

Sadly, his impassioned speech did not lead to a galvanized late-game comeback for the Grizzlies (lost 119-97) but hopefully, for the franchise's sake, it eventually will resonate otherwise their 3-13 record will only continue to add on losses, and make their recent two-straight 50+ win seasons feel like nothing more than a distant memory.