On today’s show: Jessica and Meghan discuss Steph Curry’s early season performance, college basketball upsets, the Memphis Tigers win, and MVP chants before discussing Cam Newton’s return with the Carolina Panthers with DeAngelo Williams. The ladies also give you the latest from pop and entertainment.
(7:30) Hustle game
(9:08) Warriors v. Nets
(23:28) College basketball
(26:10) MVP chants
(30:17) Staples Center name change
(42:27) DeAngelo Williams
(1:24:31) CJ corner
(1:26:55) Drake Kanye beef squashed
(1:38:50) Harry Potter reunion
(1:45:10) You confusion
On today’s show: Jessica and Meghan recap the Grizzlies v. Hornets before talking Titans, Ryan Tannehill, OBJ and more from around the NFL with Teresa Walker. Freddie Gillespie of the Memphis Hustle stops by to preview the start of their season. The ladies also tell you the appropriate wedding attire, discuss Zendaya’s fit and show a cute video of Kyle Anderson playing on the court with his kid.
(start) Grizzlies v. Hornets recap
(26:13) Teresa Walker on the Titans
(39:39) Where will OBJ go?
(44:35) Freddie Gillespie
(1:01:40) Appropriate wedding attire
(1:08:14) Zendaya Fashion Icon Award
(1:10:50) All Too Well movie poster
Grind City Media’s Kelcey Wright Johnson caught up with Shaq Buchanan ahead of tonight’s NBA Summer League finale and talked about playing in front of fans, his favorite part of Summer League, views on success, and finally handing out team awards.
Shaq Buchanan joins Grind City Media’s Jessica Benson and Meghan Triplett on Rise & Grind to discuss what it’s like living in the NBA G League Bubble, aka the “Gubble” and how he’s preparing for the start of the season.
Memphis Hustle G Dusty Hannahs joins Chris Vernon and the gang live in-studio to talk about the big win on Monday over Tacko Fall and the Maine Red Claws, his diet, offseason training, his 10-day with the Grizzlies last year, playing for Jason March, Josh Jackson, and more.
MEMPHIS – Former NBA lottery pick Josh Jackson’s fresh start in Memphis this season will require earning that opportunity through a stint with the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate, team sources confirmed.
Jackson’s representatives and the Grizzlies have mutually agreed to allow the forward to restore his reputation on and off the court through an undisclosed set of guidelines, according to team officials.
As part of the understanding, Jackson will not attend Grizzlies media day on Monday and will not participate alongside teammates in training camp when practices start Tuesday. According to team officials, Jackson will spend the coming weeks preparing for the season with the Memphis Hustle.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Josh Jackson #20 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Talking Stick Resort Arena on April 03, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.
The Grizzlies acquired Jackson, guard De’Anthony Melton and two future second-round picks from Phoenix in a July trade that sent Kyle Korver and Jevon Carter to the Suns. The fourth overall pick out of Kansas in the 2017 NBA Draft, Jackson has battled issues on and off the court during his turbulent two-year career in Phoenix. Memphis could represent a second chance for Jackson to reboot his career and reach his potential after averaging 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and a steal in 156 NBA games.
That process apparently will require the 6-8, athletic Jackson to take positive and methodical steps in advance of and through the G League assignment with the Hustle. The Grizzlies’ roster includes Jae Crowder, Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson among options at the small forward spot Jackson has played.
Theoretically, Jackson’s combination of versatility and age at 22 could make him an ideal fit with a Memphis young core of Jaren Jackson Jr. and rookie draft picks Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke. Josh Jackson (fourth), Jaren Jackson Jr. (fourth) and Morant (second) give the Grizzlies three players selected in the top four of the last three NBA Drafts.
Jackson is set to earn $7 million this season on a rookie-scale contract that includes a team option for the 2020-2021 season. Earlier this week, the Grizzlies reached an agreement with Andre Iguodala that won’t require the veteran forward to report to training camp as the sides continue to explore trades.
With an airline boarding announcement blaring over the intercom in the background, Jay-R Strowbridge raised his voice as he explained which task presented the biggest challenge.
A night earlier, the journeyman guard nailed the game winning three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left to lift the Memphis Hustle to their first NBA G League playoff victory in franchise history. And now, Strowbridge was with his teammates on a commercial flight, pushing through a travel day that started at 5 a.m. the next morning, to take them from northern California to southwestern Texas.
Jay-R Strowbridge #5 of the Memphis Hustle celebrates a three point basket against the Stockton Kings during the NBA G League Playoffs on March 27, 2019 at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, CA. Photo by Rocky Widner via Getty Images.
It’s the survive-and-advance nature of the G League postseason, which continues Friday night when the Hustle (28-22) face the top-seeded Rio Grande Valley Vipers (34-16) in a second-round single elimination game. The winner advances to the Western Conference finals next week. The Hustle, who won five of their final seven regular season games to make the playoffs, now seek their second upset in three days.
“Without a doubt, we believe we can keep this going,” said Strowbridge, whose only points Wednesday came on the shot that beat the Stockton Kings. “We know we’ve got shooters. We’ve got guys who can get downhill. We’ve got screeners. And if everybody plays well, plays to their skill set and lock up on the defensive end, we’re going to continue to keep going. Our mind is to go into (Friday’s) game swinging.”
The Hustle will also have something else they lacked in their first-round upset victory: Reinforcements. Memphis Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff confirmed after Friday’s practice that point guard Jevon Carter and swingman Julian Washburn were assigned to the Hustle for Friday’s game and would then rejoin the Grizzlies on Saturday in Phoenix, where they open a four-game trip against the Suns.
The Hustle will also have the support of fans cheering them on from Southaven, where the organization is hosting a Hustle Budweiser Watch Party at Buffalo Wild Wings. The game starts at 7 p.m., and fans who attend will receive a Hustle Playoff Rally Towel and get treated to happy hour pricing as the playoff matchup’s Facebook feed is broadcast on several TVs around the bar.
We know we’ve got shooters. We’ve got guys who can get downhill. We’ve got screeners. And if everybody plays well, plays to their skill set and lock up on the defensive end, we’re going to continue to keep going. Our mind is to go into (Friday’s) game swinging.
A similar fan experience gathered inside the Bud Light Lounge at FedExForum after the Grizzlies’ game against the Warriors on Wednesday to watch the Hustle’s roller coaster performance against the Kings. The Hustle were ahead by 18 points midway through the fourth quarter before Stockton rallied with a 22-2 run to take the lead. The Hustle ultimately had possession in the final seconds of a tied game when coach Brad Jones drew up a set for Grizzlies Two-Way player Yuta Watanabe to drive to the basket.
Strowbridge was actually the fourth option on the play.
Jay-R Strowbridge #5 of the Memphis Hustle celebrates with teammate Yuta Watanabe #12 against the Stockton Kings during the NBA G League Playoffs on March 27, 2019 at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, CA. Photo by Rocky Widner via Getty Images.
“So Yuta tried to penetrate, and then he kicked it to Markel Crawford, who passed it to Kyle Casey,” Strowbridge said of the teamwork involved in the play that won the game. “Kyle saw my defender sink in off me, so he passed it to me in the corner. My only focus was to try to catch the ball and lock in on the rim. And after that, it just went to muscle memory.”
Strowbridge confessed it was the biggest shot he’s made in a career that has seen the 31-year-old vet play for three different teams in college before stints with minor league pro teams across the globe.
“That’s definitely number one, without a doubt,” Strowbridge said of where he ranks the shot. “I hit a few big shots. But to be on the road in the G League playoffs, just knowing how the season started, and to come through the trials to be on this team and this group of guys, that was definitely number one.”
Jones insists his team has been resilient throughout the season, and has gained confidence despite coping with attrition and injuries along the way. The Hustle just might be peaking at the right time.
“We’ve had quite a roster change over the past week – a couple of the Grizzlies guys haven’t been with us the last couple of games,” Jones said. “To our guys’ credit, they were able to figure it out as the game went along. Instead of folding their tents, they regrouped like they’ve done all year long and made plays down the stretch. We’re a fun group like that.”
To be on the road in the G League playoffs, just knowing how the season started, and to come through the trials to be on this team and this group of guys, that was definitely number one.
The plan is to continue to play free of pressure and have fun. That’s what underdogs tend to do, and the Hustle have thrived in that role in recent weeks. They’ve also split the four-game regular season series with the Vipers, with both teams winning the home games.
“We’re just trying to stay true to who we are and control what we can,” Strowbridge said. “I’m looking forward to it, because Rio Grande Valley was the first team I played with my rookie year. They gave me the opportunity. So I’m definitely looking forward to it, going back again.”
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.
Alexis Morgan brings in vegan buffalo wings, jerk “chicken” sliders and vegan slaw from Imagine Vegan Cafe. Chris Vernon is not a fan of fake meat (but likes the slaw). New Memphis Hustle coach Brad Jones gives the meal a thumbs up and reveals that he and his wife went vegan for a month.
MEMPHIS – It was just two random moments on the FedExForum court that Ivan Rabb wants to make his permanent home. Moments that, when they started, seemed like sensationally creative ideas.
Each time, Rabb was in midair for an alley-oop pass that was off target. But while they didn’t result in thundering dunks for the NBA G League’s Memphis Hustle, Rabb deftly controlled the errant passes, made the necessary midcourse adjustments and cradled the ball home for a couple of buckets.
“If I can catch it,” Rabb said with quiet assurance, “I know I can finish.”
No oohs or ahhs from the crowd watching the Hustle, who were house-sitting during a Thanksgiving weekend night when the parent Grizzlies were out of town. But in the bigger context, the plays added to a growing catalogue of “Oh, my!” moments as fans, coaches and teammates watch the 20-year-old Californian’s surprisingly polished skill set.
“I think everyone knows he’s as skilled as any big man in the G League now,” Hustle coach Glynn Cyprien said. “He has all the tools for a guy his size, a high basketball IQ and he’s been phenomenal, not just in his individual play, but his ability to know how to get guys into the right position and into our sets.”
That increasingly busy development process for Rabb continues Wednesday night, when the No. 35 overall pick in last June’s draft suits up again for the Hustle at Landers Center against Iowa.
Rabb contributes 16 points and 12 rebounds to the Hustle win over Stars.
Cyprien said he recruited the former McDonald’s All-American out of Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, and followed his development in two seasons at Cal-Berkeley, where Rabb earned All-Pac 12 honors, including a first-team selection last spring.
Rabb was part of a Pac-12 infusion the Grizzlies added with a pair of draft night trades that netted Rabb and conference Player of the Year Dillion Brooks of Oregon as second-round picks. Brooks has stepped into a starting wing spot with the Grizzlies. Rabb, who signed a three-year NBA rookie contract, has played just three regular season minutes in two appearances with the Grizzlies.
But nobody is unhappy with where he is in his progress, and that includes Rabb.
“I’m always happy for Dillon, or any of my teammates who do well and show they’re ready (and) he was,” Rabb said. “I’m just putting in the work I need now. I know my time will come.”
Through the Hustle’s first 14 games, Rabb was nearly averaging a double-double at 15.9 points and a team-leading 9.0 rebounds.
“When he’s on the court (with the Hustle), he’s the best player out there,” said Jon Roser, analyst on the Hustle’s Facebook Live streaming video broadcasts. “He is a stud.”
Rabb shoots 56 percent from the field and adds nearly two assists and blocks a game. His plus/minus average of 4.4 is also tops on the G League squad.
“He can get open jumpers and hit from 15-to-17 feet in,” Cyprien said of Rabb’s versatility at 6-10 and 220 pounds. “He’s a good passer, a great screener and moves well without the ball. He has to get more consistent with the perimeter shots, and adjust to the physicality of the game, especially his post defense. He’s fine at this level, but it’s a whole different deal in the NBA … but it’s more a case of letting Mother Nature work. He’s got the frame to fill out in time. … and with the situation the Grizzlies have at his position, this is a player they took looking at the long-term. And that hasn’t changed.”
Rabb missed the NBA Las Vegas Summer League because of an ankle sprain, but got into four Grizzlies preseason games and said, “that gave me a good idea of what to expect and what to work on.”
That the Grizzlies’ minor league team now shares the FedExForum practice facility and plays just down the road at Landers Center has been a decided advantage to someone like Rabb. He can soak up basketball knowledge with ease. And regularity.
Grizzlies rookie forward Ivan Rabb is averaging nearly 16 points and nine rebounds through 14 games with the Memphis Hustle of the NBA G League Photo Credit: Joe Murphy/Getty Images
Just consider his schedule from a recent weekend, when he bounced between the active rosters of the Grizzlies and Hustle for a combined five games over a span of four days.
“I’ve been paying particular attention to Marc Gasol and JaMychal Green,” Rabb said of his Grizzlies’ mates at the center and power forward positions. “They do things differently but are outstanding at what they do. I want to take certain aspects of each of their games and incorporate it into what I do.”
Cyprien said the chance to work and practice with the Hustle’s other rookie big men in Austin Nichols and Chance Comanche has paid dividends across the board.
“Austin plays a physical game and Chance has a long wingspan, so that provides Ivan with a good challenge every time we work out,” Cyprien said.
Perhaps Rabb’s most memorable performance so far came in the Hustle’s first road game on Nov. 15 against the Canton Charge. Rabb battled against longtime NBA veteran Kendrick Perkins, who is looking to make it back to the NBA after two seasons away from the game. Rabb more than held his own, scoring 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting and adding 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.
“He gained a ton of confidence,” Cyprien said.
But Rabb’s least memorable moment involved spending 10 days in the NBA’s concussion protocol after taking a blow to the back of the head during a game.
“I don’t know who got me,” Rabb said. “All I know is that I was out cold.”
Since coming back from a two-game absence, Rabb’s scoring has dipped slightly and he’s faced constant double-teams from opposing defenses. Cyprien said Rabb is now learning how to adjust to commanding more attention and fewer one-on-one matchups. Rabb is also trying to regain his rhythm and timing.
“It’s going to take time for him to get back in condition,” Cyprien said. “He could do nothing in terms of workouts or activity the full 10 days, and that puts you back. He’s working hard to get back. It’s coming.”
“I just have to work hard and keep getting reps,” Rabb said.
Cyprien said the enthusiasm for his current situation will serve Rabb well.
“Often you get guys on NBA contracts who are playing at this level, and they don’t try to bond with their teammates or embrace the good things, and bad things about this league, like the early-morning flights or helping with bags, the hotels and such,” Cyprien explained. “But Ivan has worked to fit in, worked to encourage and help his teammates get better. … He knows his time will come.”
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Memphis Grizzlies. All opinions expressed by ete Wickham 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.