Rise & Grind - 8/8/22 | Sue Bird's Final Home Game, First Day Of School and Kim K and Pete Davidson

Rise & Grind: Sue Bird’s Final Home Game, First Day Of School and Kim K and Pete Davidson

On today’s show: Meghan discusses Sue Bird’s final home game, talks about the Dejounte Murray and Paolo Banchero beef with Mike Wallace and she recklessly speculates about Kim K and Pete Davidson’s split.

(start) College Football Playoff predictions
(10:00) Sue Bird’s final home game
(25:00) Mike Wallace
(30:00) Murray and Banchero beef
(52:00) Kim K and Pete Davidson call it quits
(58:00) Lil Wayne teases Tha Carter VI

MikeCheck: On the court and in community, Bane embraces next big steps with Grizzlies

MEMPHIS – In charting his growth as a team leader and budding NBA standout, incremental progress would be one of the last terms to describe Desmond Bane’s ascent.

So as the Grizzlies’ breakout guard winds down the summer ahead of his third NBA season, it’s only fitting that Bane is embracing the task of taking another big leap – in life and in basketball.

Juggling changes on both fronts has kept Bane busy coming off a breakout season when he helped Memphis post a franchise-record 56 victories, win a postseason series for the first time since 2015 and push eventual NBA champion Golden State in the Western Conference semifinals.

“Basketball is the main thing – that never stops,” Bane said of his mindset seven weeks out from the start of NBA training camps. “It’s my kid, camps (and) community events. But basketball is always the main thing. As long as I keep that the main thing, everything else falls into place. I’m definitely going to continue to grow and make another jump for sure.”

When it comes to Bane’s impact off the court, significant leaps have already been made.

I want to do things like this, bring smiles to kids’ faces, the best way I can. Especially in an area like Memphis, it’s essential for kids to get some excitement going into the school year, to get the proper materials. I remember going school shopping as a kid and some things you have, some things you don’t. But we’ll be able to supply them with the necessary things to get started.

Desmond Bane

Last month, Bane shared photos and messages on social media of his newborn son as a proud father for the first time. The 24-year-old sharpshooter wrapped up July by hosting a free youth basketball clinic and community picnic in his native Richmond, Indiana.

And those wide-ranging outreach efforts continued this week in Memphis as Bane opened August with a back-to-school backpack giveaway at FedExForum that benefited 150 kids. In words and deeds, Bane is as committed to expanding his outreach for worthy community causes as he is determined to improve almost every aspect of his rapidly developing game.

Desmond Bane on-stage

Fatherhood has added another layer of maturity to a young man who already conducted himself with poise and class well beyond his years. And as his profile blossoms as one of the NBA’s top young shooters, Bane is grateful to redirect some of that spotlight and attention onto growing his base of sponsors and business partners he’s aligned with for his charitable causes.

“The visibility is what it is, but I do this out of the goodness of my heart, regardless of being an end-of-the-bench guy or the best player on the team,” Bane said of his outreach, with Shelby County Schools set to open Monday. “I want to do things like this, bring smiles to kids’ faces, the best way I can. Especially in an area like Memphis, it’s essential for kids to get some excitement going into the school year, to get the proper materials. I remember going school shopping as a kid and some things you have, some things you don’t. But we’ll be able to supply them with the necessary things to get started.”

If this feels familiar, well, it is.

The Grizzlies have a long and strong Indiana-to-Memphis pipeline of guys who have endeared themselves to this community with their play as well as their personal philanthropic touch.

Zach Randolph and Mike Conley, both with Indiana roots, were deeply embedded in this community as they drove the Grizzlies to seven consecutive playoff seasons during the Grit’N’Grind era. Randolph’s retired No. 50 sits high above FedExForum and he now serves as a franchise ambassador. The Grizzlies have also committed to retiring Conley’s No. 11 eventually.

I’ve talked to a few of my teammates about eventually doing some things together. Memphis being the place where I play, and Richmond, Indiana being the place where I grew up, those will be the two places that hit home the most. Anything on top of that is a cherry on top.

Desmond Bane

Bane, however, only needs to look across his current locker room to find a teammate who’s traveled a similar pathway. Grizzlies star forward and fellow Indiana native Jaren Jackson Jr. has been instrumental since arriving in Memphis four years ago in the development of community voting initiatives as well as girls’ athletics and fitness programs.

Bane is already firmly following in some phenomenal footsteps as a person and player. His next goal is to partner with more of his current teammates to give back in even more ways throughout the region and across some of his colleagues’ hometowns.

“Just get out in the community, hang out and chill – bring people together,” Bane said of his motivation, especially coming out of a global pandemic that limited such gatherings. “I’ve talked to a few of my teammates about eventually doing some things together. Memphis being the place where I play, and Richmond, Indiana being the place where I grew up, those will be the two places that hit home the most. Anything on top of that is a cherry on top.”

Building on a sweet season on the court is the next task at hand.

Bane, Jackson and All-NBA point guard Ja Morant anchor a chore group that returns largely intact from a team that was one of the league’s most improved squads last season. The Grizzlies have advanced a step farther in the postseason in each of coach Taylor Jenkins’ three seasons in Memphis. They’ve re-signed point guard Tyus Jones in free agency and added four players, including first-round picks in forwards Jake LaRavia and David Roddy, in June’s draft.

Fulfilling his role as a young veteran, Bane hosted the rookies at his Memphis home when they arrived in town after the draft to prepare for NBA summer league action. He’s also taken on more of a mentoring and workout role with forward Ziaire Williams, last year’s lottery pick.

The regular season was extremely important for us, but we’re trying to make some more noise in the playoffs. You look at the best teams, Golden State and the top teams across the league that have been able to build something over a long period of time – that’s part of our journey. We’ve got to the playoffs the last two years, and we’re surrounding that core with the right pieces. The sky is the limit.

Desmond Bane

As far as boosting his own game, Bane knows he’ll need to come back even better and stronger to deal with the increased attention he’s certain to attract from opposing teams this time around.

Bane set a franchise record with 271 made 3-pointers, doubled his scoring from his rookie season to 18.2 points a game last season and shot 43.6-percent from beyond the arc. He was also third among all players in 3-pointers made per game during the playoffs.

Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant, and Desmond Bane

Playing alongside Morant, Bane is confident the Grizzlies will again boast one of the most productive backcourts in the league. But the ultimate goal is team success and returning to the playoffs for a third straight season to make a deeper run.

“That was some of the most fun basketball I’ve had since I was a kid,” Bane insisted of last year’s playoff performance. “The regular season was extremely important for us, but we’re trying to make some more noise in the playoffs. You look at the best teams, Golden State and the top teams across the league that have been able to build something over a long period of time – that’s part of our journey. We’ve got to the playoffs the last two years, and we’re surrounding that core with the right pieces. The sky is the limit.”


While reaching for the sky with his team, Bane is eager to stay grounded in community work.

His primary reason?

“There’s a lot of blue-collar people here trying to make something of themselves,” Bane insists.

Considering his work ethic on and off the court, count Bane among them.

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.

HBCU Huddle: MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presser

On today’s show: CJ and Mike are joined by Kelvin Gates from the Memphis SWAC Alumni Picnic Association to discuss giving back to HBCU’s, the importance of networking and more. The fellas also discuss the highlights from yesterday’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff press conference.

MikeCheck: Grizzlies building ‘gold standard’ track record for NBA draft, development success

MEMPHIS – If recent history is any indication, the Grizzlies are essentially a lock to make a smart, productive and impactful addition to their roster coming out of Thursday’s NBA Draft.

“Memphis is a bit of a gold standard as far as being able to draft and turn players into starters or rotation players,” former NBA executive and ESPN front-office insider Bobby Marks insists. “They’re going to get two really good players where they’re picking, or maybe those picks get packaged and they move up. And that’s the recipe for roster sustainability here.”


Count Marks among those around the league who believe the Grizzlies are one of the best-positioned franchises entering both the draft on Thursday and the July 1 start of free agency.

Memphis enters the draft with two first-round picks (Nos. 22 and 29) in addition to the No. 47 overall pick in the second round. Beyond that, executive vice president of basketball operations Zach Kleiman and the front office could have at least $20 million in salary cap space for free agency. There’s also tremendous flexibility to make further moves with a collection of attractive expiring contracts as well as potential sign-and-trade options to facilitate larger deals.

At a minimum, the Grizzlies could simply use their draft picks to add more depth to one of the NBA’s brightest young cores alongside Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Ziaire Williams. Those players were all first-round picks at various stages of the last four NBA drafts.

Ziaire Williams Draft

And that group fueled a historic run in which the Grizzlies matched a franchise record with 56 victories and pushed the eventual NBA champion Golden State Warriors to six games in the Western Conference semifinals. Memphis posted the league’s second-best record with the second-youngest playing rotation among the NBA’s 30 teams last season.

Kleiman and coach Taylor Jenkins, who signed a multiyear contract extension last week, intend to remain aggressive and opportunistic this offseason as the team builds on what they believe is a championship foundation. The next step in that process leads Memphis into the draft, where the Kleiman-led front office has traded up from its initial position each of the last three years.

“Our approach is we’re going to take whatever we have available to us and work to make this team better,” Kleiman said entering the offseason. “We have a lot of draft assets. Are there opportunities that we have to make ourselves better within a window of contention? I’m excited to see what opportunities there are. We’re not going to lose sight of what got us here. We’re going to put ourselves in position to keep capitalizing on it.”

Speaking on a national conference call to promote ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft, Marks praised the Grizzlies for establishing a great culture and building their foundation through the draft. He also emphasized the success of Jenkins’ development system in Memphis after the front office brought in quality players through the draft.

Morant (2019) and Jackson (2018), who arrived as the second and fourth overall lottery picks, made All-NBA teams this past season. Their success was highly anticipated if not outright expected entering the league. But the Grizzlies have also seen Dillon Brooks arrive as the No. 45 overall pick in the second round and become one of the league’s most productive two-way wing players. They’ve witnessed Desmond Bane, who arrived as the No. 30 and final pick of the first round two years ago, become one of the league’s top-five three-point shooters this past season.

And regardless of the Grizzlies’ draft night outcome this time, more of the same is expected.

This is an interesting draft because very few players who were projected first-round picks or even top-40 picks decided not to enter their names in the draft. You have incredible depth of all these young players who, a lot of them in my opinion, should have probably stayed another year in college to really enter the NBA on the (lottery) red carpet.

Jonathan Givony

“Certainly, Ja is the headliner, but just look at what they’ve been able to do in the draft when you look at Desmond Bane, Xavier Tillman, Jaren, Brandon Clarke, the list goes on and on,” Marks explained. “They’ve been able to identify and develop, and the goal is now to retain. They’ve kind of hit the market on building their roster organically.”

The Grizzlies should find ample value in the 20s with this year’s draft class if they stand pat as currently positioned, according to highly regarded ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony.

“The Grizzlies, with those two picks, have a lot of options in front of them,” Givony said on the eve of the draft. “This is an interesting draft because very few players who were projected first-round picks or even top-40 picks decided not to enter their names in the draft. You have incredible depth of all these young players who, a lot of them in my opinion, should have probably stayed another year in college to really enter the NBA on the (lottery) red carpet.”

Jaren Jackson Jr. Draft

Most offseason projections – in the draft and free agency – list the Grizzlies biggest potential needs at backup point guard and depth at the wing-forward position.

Among some notable prospects Givony believes could be available in the Grizzlies’ draft range late in the first round at point guard are Tennessee’s Kennedy Chandler and Gonzaga’s Andrew Nembhard. And wing prospects who fall in that early-20s range for the Grizzlies on recent mock drafts are Duke’s Wendell Moore, Arizona’s Dalen Terry and Notre Dame’s Blake Wesley.

There’s a care factor that goes into winning. We just love guys who come in and want to compete, want to win in every little thing. It’s the shooting games, the drills, the card games, the free-throw championship belt, the halfcourt shots, it’s everything. If you compete, you’re unselfish and ultimately care at the end of the day, those are great building blocks. We’ll take it from there. We’re going to develop as much as we can the great talent we bring into the organization.

Taylor Jenkins

The Grizzlies have previously shown a willingness to leverage draft assets to trade up on the board. They’ve also gone the other way and packaged picks with a current player in deals to acquire a proven veteran with playoff experience.

But there are similar characteristics they seek in just about any player they target.

“When you step into Memphis, you’re going to embrace giving everything of yourself for the team,” Jenkins said. “There’s a care factor that goes into winning. We just love guys who come in and want to compete, want to win in every little thing. It’s the shooting games, the drills, the card games, the free-throw championship belt, the halfcourt shots, it’s everything. If you compete, you’re unselfish and ultimately care at the end of the day, those are great building blocks. We’ll take it from there. We’re going to develop as much as we can the great talent we bring into the organization.”

Another draft brings another chance to maintain that Grizzlies gold standard.

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.

2022 NBA Draft Preview | Grind City Media

2022 NBA Draft Preview

Grind City Media’s Host Jessica Benson is joined by Michael Wallace, Kelcey Wright Johnson, and Pete Pranica as they discuss how this 2022 NBA Draft is going to play out, what it means for Memphis Grizzlies who have three picks, and more.

HBCU Huddle: Roscoe Nance Headlines This Year’s Black College Football Hall Of Fame

CJ gets advice on buying a house from Mike before they discuss this year’s sections into the Black College Football Hall of Fame. Mike also shares some stories from being in the press box with legendary sports columnist Roscoe Nance and the fellas congratulate Mikaila Ulmer on her recent success running Me and the Bees Lemonade.