#IMHO: Best NBA/Rap Collabs (Re: Moneybagg Yo's Rookie of the Year)

#IMHO: Best NBA Rap Collabs

With the release of Moneybagg Yo’s Rookie Of The Year in conjunction with the upcoming Ja Morant documentary, Promiseland, Grind City Media’s Kelcey Wright Johnson and Lang Whitaker discuss their favorite NBA collaborations in music like Shaq & Kobe, Jaren Jackson Jr. & Justise Winslow, Joe Smith, and Jason Kidd.

Magic upset Grizz at Buzzer, NBA Play-In Race Heats Up, NFL Draft Reaction | 3-Point Stance

3-Point Stance: Magic upset Grizz at Buzzer, NBA Play-In Race Heats Up, NFL Draft Reaction

Grind City Media’s 3-Point Stance segment is a Skype-styled conversation between 2 friends, with 2 perspectives, on 3 topics from the weekend centered on sports, entertainment and pop-culture presented by MTN Dew. On Episode 72, Jon Roser and Meghan Triplett discuss:

0:00 Grizzlies-Magic Weekend
The Memphis Grizzlies split back-to-back games with the Orlando Magic over the weekend, but the biggest storyline was the Grizzlies blowing a 20pt lead to lose at the buzzer. With low spirits, what can the Grizzlies do to bounce back from this demoralizing loss?

3:55 Play-In Tournament Seeding
Amidst a three-way tie between the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Portland Trail Blazers, LeBron James fired off saying the play-in tournament was a “bad idea.” What are your impressions of the Play-In Tournament and what are your impressions of the Brooklyn Nets?

6:55 NFL Draft
The 2021 NFL Draft concluded over the weekend with Trevor Lawrence going #1 overall and the San Francisco 49ers nabbing Trey Lance. What are your impressions of the Draft and who do you think got it wrong?

Grizz Face Depth Dilemma on Fully Healthy Roster + Ja's April Stats Off The Charts

Grizz Face Depth Dilemma on Fully Healthy Roster + Ja’s April Stats Off The Charts

Grind City Media’s Mike Wallace and Kelcey Wright Johnson discuss the team’s and Ja Morant’s crazy April stats, the depth dilemma fitting Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones and a fully healthy roster into the rotation, and the series between the Grizzlies and Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

MikeCheck: Winslow faces Heat filled with gratitude, focused on growth in role with Grizzlies

MEMPHIS – Basketball Hall of Fame finalist Chris Bosh rarely let a day pass in the Heat’s locker room without cracking on then-rookie Justise Winslow for his serious demeanor and “mannish” appearance, despite entering the NBA as a 19-year-old lottery pick.

“He just got here, and been in the league 10 years already,” Bosh would say, simultaneously ribbing and respecting Winslow’s approach back then. “He’s got a grown-man voice, walking around here with hair on his chest. If there’s ever a 19-year-old vet in this league, it’s Justise.”

Justise Winslow and Chris Bosh
MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 7: Justise Winslow #20 and Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat discuss during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images.

No doubt, injuries and adversity have since forced Winslow to grow up fast in the NBA.

But he never quite grew into the lofty role and expectations in Miami. After five bittersweet years with the Heat, Winslow was traded to Memphis at least season’s trade deadline and spent the next two months recovering from a back injury that lingered from his time in Miami. Just before he was set to make his Grizzlies debut in the NBA bubble last July in Orlando, Winslow endured a hip displacement injury that knocked him out of action again.

In total, the 24-year-old versatile forward went 13 months between NBA games before he finally suited up for his new team last month. Now 10 games into his comeback, Winslow faces his former team for the first time when the Heat visit the Grizzlies on Wednesday.

So more than anything, I want to see those faces, just to tell them, ‘Thank you.’ Because I wouldn’t be here without their guidance and without their support. It’s no hard feelings, just a lot of gratitude from me.

Justise Winslow

Was there some resentment for how things ended in Miami? Sure. Is there gratitude and respect for journey that led Winslow to his new chapter in Memphis? Absolutely. Admittedly, there will be a wide range of emotions when he takes the court this time.

None of that will overshadow the task at hand as Winslow tries to help the Grizzlies get on track and end a three-game losing streak to open a tough four-game homestand at FedExForum.

“My head is in a good place, honestly,” said Winslow, averaging 8.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 22 minutes in nine games. “So more than anything, I want to see those faces, just to tell them, ‘Thank you.’ Because I wouldn’t be here without their guidance and without their support. It’s no hard feelings, just a lot of gratitude from me.”

In a wide-ranging interview with Grind City Media, Winslow addressed his transition from Miami to Memphis and gradually finding a comfort zone for the Grizzlies’ stretch run.

 

Grind City Media: Now 10 games in, what’s been the most rewarding part of actually playing?

Winslow: It’s just the pure fact of being back out there. Being away from the game for so long – being a part of it from the sidelines, helping guys out during drills is one thing – but just being out there is a real joy for me. I love to compete in everything I do, so just having that aspect of my life back, being able to play defense and rebound and communicate with my teammates, man, that just brings a lot of joy to my life.


GCM: How has coming into the NBA in Miami with a mature mindset helped you now?

Winslow: Coach (Erik) Spoelstra always had an expression. He’d talk about an orange, and how when you squeeze an orange, that’s when you figure out what it’s really made of. So for me, going from the injuries to getting traded, it was like I was being squeezed. And you see what comes out in terms of the character and foundation you set. I’ve always tried to take those things very seriously. I fell short to some injuries and have had to battle back, but my mentality, my standards, my principles have always been top-notch. That’s always been what I’ve been able to fall back on. So when I get squeezed, that’s what comes out in the purest form.


GCM: What’s goes through your mind – and body – as you face your former team for first time?

Winslow: I’m excited, mostly just to see those faces. I’ve felt like I’ve proven myself to my peers and to the league at this point. With my injuries and my journey, I’ve been able to overcome some of that animosity, some of that resentment or tough feelings you have after getting traded. It’s nothing like that with me and the Heat. I’m not trying to prove anything. This injury is going to take time to come back from. I’m still on a minutes restriction. So even if I wanted to have 50 points, it would be hard to do it in 20 to 25 minutes. My head is in a good place, honestly. More than anything, I want to see those faces, just to tell them, ‘Thank you.’ Because I wouldn’t be here without their guidance and support. It’s no hard feelings, just a lot of gratitude from me.

Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro
MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 14: Bam Adebayo #13, Justise Winslow #20, and Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat look on against the Atlanta Hawks during a pre-season game. Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images.

GCM: During the Heat’s run to the NBA Finals, what was that experience like for you from afar?

Winslow: Yeah, there was definitely some points of resentment, just feeling like I should have been a part of that run, or that I wanted to be in the Finals. But just getting over those natural emotions, putting those emotions aside, I was happy for those guys, knowing the work they put in and we put in. I wasn’t on that team at the time, but I felt like I was part of that journey. Helping Tyler (Herro) and Kendrick (Nunn) and what the Heat were trying to get done. I was happy for those guys, especially Bam (Adebayo), seeing him come in as a rookie and work his tail off to become a starter and an All-Star. Jimmy (Butler) as well. Kelly (Olynyk), too, all those guys, Goran (Dragic). I saw all the work they put in. Getting to the Finals isn’t easy. Some guys go their whole careers without making the playoffs, and most guys go their whole careers without making it to the Finals. So I was happy for those guys that they were able to do that.


GCM: Since you’ve been back in the lineup, you’ve made it clear that being with the Grizzlies has been bigger than basketball, that it’s been about finding peace and purpose with a new organization. What’s that been like for you?

Winslow: It’s been great. With a younger team, there’s just an energy about us. The joking, the closeness on the bus rides, the togetherness. Older guys tend to have families, kids and wives that they’re attached to. But this group, it’s a lot of younger guys. It’s just a different vibe, and it has been something I’m thankful for, just to turn the page, to turn over a new leaf and it just started with the energy there every day in the locker room when I was hurt. It would have been easy to be down or get frustrated when you’re out. But when you come into a locker room like this and you’ve got (Jaren Jackson Jr.) joking around or you’ve got Ja (Morant) making jokes or you’ve got Melt (De’Anthony Melton) being himself, it makes it a lot easier coming into work every day. That young energy really helped me get through some of my battles.


GCM: In that sense, you spent a lot of time with Jaren. How have you two bonded, having gone through a similar journey with injuries early in promising careers as he works his way back?

Winslow: Jaren and I instantly grew a bond once I was traded, and a lot of that was initially through music and rap. I see a lot of myself in him, I see that passion, I see that fire and desire to be great within him. Unfortunately, we both got hurt in the bubble, and it kind of paired us together on a rehab journey that we’re still pushing through. As much as I’d like to think I helped him, well, he’s helped me every bit as much, if not more. His fearlessness to get through the day, being the best Jaren he can be, there’s a lot I can take from his story, just his mindset and his approach. I just try to be positive with him every day and see the bigger picture.

Jaren Jackson Jr. and Justise Winslow in the Bubble
Orlando, FL – AUGUST 9: Justise Winslow #7 of the Memphis Grizzlies and Jaren Jackson Jr. #13 of the Memphis Grizzlies look on during the game against the Toronto Raptors. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images.

GCM: Where are you now physically compared to where you’re capable of being at peak form?

Winslow: I’m still climbing that mountain. And that’s the beauty of it. I’m feeling better and getting more comfortable with my body. I’m adapting to some of the changes and mechanics that the performance team is helping me implement. But honestly, I don’t think I’m anywhere close to where I can be. My body is catching up and I’m getting the confidence back in my body and my ability to do things on the court. But it’s going to take time. At the same time, I don’t want to be too patient with myself. I want to motivate myself and keep the standard and foundation I’ve set at such a high level. I want to keep it there. I’m not where I want to be, and I won’t be there by the end of this season. Probably won’t be there by the end of next season, but the beauty of it is the journey is the reward and you just fall in love with the grind.

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Memphis Grizzlies. All opinions expressed by Michael Wallace are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Memphis Grizzlies or its Basketball Operations staff, owners, parent companies, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Memphis Grizzlies and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

Grizz Demolish Rockets by 49, Russell Wilson Wants Out, Tiger Woods Car Crash | 3-Point Stance

3-Point Stance: Grizz Demolish Rockets by 49, Russell Wilson Wants Out, Tiger Woods Car Crash

Grind City Media’s 3-Point Stance segment is a Skype-styled conversation between 2 friends, with 2 perspectives, on 3 topics from the weekend centered on sports, entertainment and pop-culture presented by MTN Dew. On Episode 63, Meghan Triplett and Jon Roser discuss:

0:00 Grizzlies vs Rockets
The Memphis Grizzlies unequivocally grounded the Houston Rockets in a 133-84 blowout Sunday night. Was this more telling how good the Grizzlies can be or moreso how bad the Rockets are without key players?

3:28 Russell Wilson
It’s being reported that Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson may want out of Seattle. Are you in favor of a potential Russell Wilson trade?

6:23 Tiger Woods
The 45-year-old, 2019 Masters’ Champion Tiger Woods was involved in a single vehicle rollover car crash last Tuesday and has since received outpours of support and tributes from the golf community, fans, and public figures alike. Could the injuries Tiger sustained spell the end for his golf career?

Justise Winslow Debuts + Grizzlies' Cold Offense to Face Heat from Upcoming Clippers Series

Justise Winslow Debuts + Grizzlies’ Cold Offense to Face Heat from Upcoming Clippers Series

Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace and Meghan Triplett recap Justise Winslow’s Grizzlies debut and analyze how the Grizzlies can bounce back from their two-game slump.

Justise Winslow Grizz Debut, T-Wolves Fired Head Coach, Fernando Tatis Jr Gets Paid | 3-Point Stance

3-Point Stance: Justise Winslow Grizz Debut, T-Wolves Fired Head Coach, Fernando Tatis Jr Gets Paid

Grind City Media’s 3-Point Stance segment is a Skype-styled conversation between 2 friends, with 2 perspectives, on 3 topics from the weekend centered on sports, entertainment and pop-culture presented by MTN Dew. On Episode 62, Meghan Triplett and Jon Roser discuss:

0:00 Justise Winslow
After 408 days since his last NBA basketball game, Justice Winslow made his highly anticipated Memphis Grizzlies debut. What are your initial impressions of his play or is it too early to tell?

2:54 Timberwolves Coach
In a rapid turn of events, it was announced late last night that the Minnesota Timberwolves have hired former Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch to replace Coach Ryan Saunders whom we learned was fired just minutes prior. Did you find this move surprising?

8:54 Fernando Tatis Jr
The 22-year-old Tatis and the Padres agreed to a 14-year, $340 million deal that will keep the up-and-coming star in San Diego through the 2034 season, the organization announced Monday. What is your reaction to this major deal?

Ballin’ in the Bubble with Justise Winslow

This week on Just Grizzlies, Kelcey sits down with Justise Winslow from the NBA bubble. They discuss what life is like right now in Orlando, how Justise fits into his new Memphis squad, and his strong feelings toward the Black Lives Matter movement. They also play a game of ‘Fill in the Blanks’ to get to know him better.

Quarantine Catch-Up with Grizzlies Forward Justice Winslow | 3-Point Stance

Quarantine Catch-Up with Grizzlies Forward Justice Winslow | 3-Point Stance

It’s another guest edition of 3-Point Stance presented by Mountain Dew!

We start with topics of Quarantine Life, Twitter, Music (he teases that an album might be dropping in July), and then (10:16) we shift our focus to talk all about Mental Health Awareness Month.

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MikeCheck: ‘Checking In’ during NBA hiatus with Grizzlies forward Justise Winslow

The NBA has been on hiatus for more than a month as league players, team officials and fans continue to cope with the global Coronavirus health crisis.

But for the Grizzlies and the league’s 29 other teams, the business and spirit of the game forge ahead as franchises make an impact in their communities during these challenging times. When the season was suspended March 11, Memphis was positioned to make the playoffs for the first time in three years as one of the NBA’s youngest and most rapidly improving teams.

And at the time, forward Justise Winslow was set to make his Grizzlies debut after being acquired at the February trade deadline and completing rehab from a lingering back injury.

The first round of the playoffs were scheduled to start last week, and Winslow was on path to add a major boost alongside young cornerstones Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant. So whenever the season resumes, count on the Grizzlies to be healthy and ready.

Meanwhile, the organization continues to prioritize the health, safety and security of the region it calls home. Grind City Media uses this space each week to ‘Check In’ with the Grizzlies, their biggest fans and the community as they endure this hiatus together.

This week’s ‘Check In’ is with Winslow, who recently partnered with the Mid-South Food Bank to feed Shelby County residents in need as he grows acclimated to his new team and NBA town.

 

Grind City Media: When season stopped you were set to return to NBA game action. How tough was it mentally and physically to be on the cusp of coming back and now having to endure another long wait?

Winslow: More so early on, the injury and how things were handled, I think that was more frustrating when I was with the Heat, than what just happened. It’s easier to keep perspective when it’s something like this going on. I really won’t say I was upset. I wanted to play really badly, and I still do. But I have good perspective about what’s going on, and that kind of helps me deal with it. For the most part, everyone is planning for the season to be saved. So I should still get my opportunity to keep that playoff position and do some damage in the playoffs.


GCM: You’ve put in the work with the Grizzlies training staff and performance team to get back to peak condition before the stay-at-home mandates disrupted normal workouts. Where are you physically right now, and will you be able to pick right up when team facilities re-open?

Winslow: Yeah, that’s the plan. I’m pain-free and symptom-free. So I plan to get right back into the swing of things when everything resumes.


GCM: When the Grizzlies acquired you from Miami at the trade deadline, front-office executives and coach Taylor Jenkins talked about the dynamic versatility you would add to this roster. What was your perspective on hearing that when you first arrived?

Winslow: I’m always going to believe in myself and what I’m capable of. At the end of the day, I’m a versatile, winning playmaker and I think that’s something this team can use. I’m just looking forward to being able to gel with these guys.

Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen
MIAMI, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 23: Grayson Allen #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies laughs with Justise Winslow #20 of the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images.

GCM: There was some talk around the team about you buying a basketball court at home during the hiatus. We’ve also seen some videos on social media of you shooting and working out in what looks like a driveway or an alley alongside your home. Have you been balling?

Winslow: My brother went and got a hoop here in Miami when all of this started, when I was still in Memphis. And just growing up, I used to make up all of these storylines and game scenarios in my head. So it’s the same when I’m out there now. I was out there, and in my mind it’s the Grizzlies versus the Cincinnati Grasshoppers. I would always shoot for both teams, and the games would always be on the line. And there would be timeouts or foul calls, just to put myself in those situations. I’ve been doing that since forever, just playing outside and creating these storylines and announcing the games. That’s just who I am. I love basketball. I love to put crazy moments on the line. So when they really happen, it’s like I’ve already sort of been there.


GCM: Let me get this straight. You created the Cincinnati Grasshoppers as an expansion team? You play for both sides during these mental challenge games you’re acting out on your court?

Winslow: Yeah, the Cincinnati Grasshoppers (laughs).


GCM: Man, that’s awesome. You’re in your fifth year as an NBA player, but these are moments that remind fans how most players were just like everyone else. They grew up playing make-believe games in the backyard or on playground hoops, too.

Winslow: For sure. And definitely since the trade, that love for basketball has come back. It’s always been there. But dealing with the injury and how everything went in Miami, that kind of tarnished a little bit. But just being able to go outside now, playing with my brothers – no coaches, no refs – I’ve been able to find that inner kid and just go out there and have fun.


GCM: You’re also having fun with new teammates exploring different interests outside of basketball. I see you and Jaren Jackson Jr. going back and forth on social media about music you two are creating. You’re also deep in digital media production. How much have you relished being able to use some of this time to expand in those areas?

Winslow: I spend a lot of time doing that. I use that as an outlet, whether it’s music or my photography. It’s my feel and approach, it’s the same on the court as off the court. I kind of use what I’m going through and the emotions of it, I’m writing. It’s an escape for me instead of always tweeting it and telling the whole world, that’s kind of my thing right now. Hopefully me and Jaren can put something out there the people like, but a lot of it is just for me.


GCM: So are you and Jaren a better collaboration on the court or in the studio?

Winslow: Believe it or not, on the court is going to be better. But when you hear the off-the-court stuff we’ve been doing, you’re going to be (surprised), like, ‘Ain’t no way!’


GCM: You also have a unique perspective on another new teammate. Coming to Memphis from Miami, you’ve partnered with two of the NBA’s breakout rookies in Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant and Heat guard Kendrick Nunn. They’ve had a competitive exchange on who should be Rookie of the Year, although Ja has been the clear frontrunner for the award this season. Having seen both up close, how would you describe their respective games and mentality?

Winslow: I got the chance to play with Kendrick when I was 16 on the USA Under-17 team, and even then, Kendrick was a dog. He’d pick up full court and was a pest for the other team’s point guards. Offensively, he was doing the same thing back then that he’s doing now – scoring on all three levels, playmaking. So when he got on the Heat, I knew what he was capable of. His opportunity came as the preseason went on and he made the most of it. He held it down and he earned that position. With Ja, it’s a completely different situation what he’s doing at age 20.

It’s an eye-opener, and that’s something big that separates them. Ja is leading his team. He’s the guy. He’s got the highest usage rate. He’s doing all of this at 20 years old. You see the dunks. You see the handles. And you see and know exactly what that kid is able to do.

Ja Morant and Justise Winslow
MEMPHIS, TN – FEBRUARY 12: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies and Justise Winslow #7 of the Memphis Grizzlies shares a laugh after the game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images.

GCM: Each week, your teammates and coaches connect on video conference calls to see how everyone is managing to get through this challenging time. How therapeutic and entertaining and essential have those moments been, especially being a new player on a young team?

Winslow: It’s great for us. We were with each other a lot during the season, especially on the road. At home, we were always at the facility. And on team planes, we’re together. That’s a big emotional part that’s been missing right now, being around each other like that. We like hanging out so much. But the conference calls have been cool. We get on there, we joke around, we play games, we do trivia. It’s just nice to see everybody laugh and smile, especially for me as I try to keep building relationships with these guys.


GCM: If you had a chance to speak with NBA commissioner Adam Silver one-on-one to offer player insight and perspective on how best to resume the season, what would you say?

Winslow: First, I’d say I’m no expert, first of all. But it feels like the best thing, when the time is right – I don’t know when that is, July or August or whenever it is people are saying – we’ll be isolated while playing. But I’d say let’s do it as soon as possible, as soon as we can have a healthy relationship to begin with the fans and playing in front of them. That’s what I’m for. I want to finish the season. I really want to earn that eighth seed and really go from there. We’re not running from nothing. We want to make the playoffs, and that’s the main thing.

Justise Winslow and Adam Silver
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 25: Justise Winslow poses with Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected tenth overall by the Miami Heat in the First Round of the 2015 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

GCM: And for Grizzlies fans, from those seated courtside to the nosebleed sections, what’s your message as they look forward to your first game in a Grizzlies uniform once all of this is over?

Winslow: Just pray, stay smart and stay healthy. Do everything they’re telling us to do. And when this thing resumes and the Grizz get back out there, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Believe me. For right now, everyone’s health is the priority. But when this thing gets rolling, it’ll be fun. This year, next year, a couple of years from now, hold onto that. Stay patient and trust that.

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Memphis Grizzlies. All opinions expressed by Michael Wallace are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Memphis Grizzlies or its Basketball Operations staff, owners, parent companies, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Memphis Grizzlies and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.