Beyond Grit - S4:E1 | Hot Grizz Summer League ft. Jitty, X-Man, Des & The Rooks

Beyond Grit – S4:E1 | Hot Grizz Summer League ft. Jitty, X-Man, Des & The Rooks

In the season four premiere of #BeyondGrit, Coach Jenkins speaks on his philosophy of team development highlighting the growth of players John Konchar, Xavier Tillman, Desmond Bane, and rookies Ziaire Williams and Santi Aldama.

Key Takeaways From Grizzlies 5-3 Summer League Play! | NBA Summer League

Key Takeaways From Grizzlies 5-3 Summer League Play!

Grind City Media’s Rob Fischer and Kelcey Wright Johnson wrap up the Memphis Grizzlies summer league by analyzing players Desmond Bane, Xavier Tillman, and John Konchar’s spectacular performances, Ziaire Williams & young guys hitting strides, and finish by talking about looming roster spot decisions and schedule release.

Grizzlies Santi Aldama Joins the Show! Talks Summer League, NBA Draft, Memphis + More | Rise & Grind

Grizzlies Santi Aldama Joins the Show! Talks Summer League, NBA Draft, Memphis + More | Rise & Grind

Rise & Grind’s Jessica Benson and Meghan Triplett sit down with one of the Memphis Grizzlies newest players, Santi Aldama, of Spain to talk about his experience at Las Vegas Summer League, overcoming jet lag, NBA Draft Night, messages from friends and family upon his draft and departure, the legacy of Spanish players in Memphis like Pau and Marc Gasol, his goal to follow in his father’s footsteps by making the Spanish Olympic team, and much more!

Shaq Buchanan Talks NBA Summer League Experience! | JUST GRIZZLIES Podcast

Shaq Buchanan Talks NBA Summer League Experience!

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.

Santi Aldama's Breakout Game, Clippers Preview + Analyzing Eric Bledsoe Trade | NBA Summer League

Santi Aldama’s Breakout Game, Clippers Preview + Analyzing Eric Bledsoe Trade | NBA Summer League

Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace and Kelcey Wright Johnson share what they liked about last night’s Summer League win over the Bulls, Santi Aldama’s breakout double-double performance, Ziaire Williams’s, Shaq Buchanan’s, and Ben Moore’s consistent impact, before previewing tonight’s game against the LA Clippers.

The two then talk about last night’s breaking news involving a trade to send Eric Bledsoe to the Clippers in exchange for Patrick Beverly, Rondo Rajon, and rookie Daniel Oturu and what could mean for the Grizzlies roster going forward. (4:37)

Summer League Developments + Matchup Against the Kings | NBA Summer League

Summer League Developments + Matchup Against the Kings | NBA Summer League

Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace and Kelcey Wright Johnson analyze the development that several Grizzlies players are making and take a look ahead to tonight’s matchup against the Kings.

#IMHO: Free Agency Madness! Plus, Summer League is back!

Grind City Media’s Lang Whitaker and Kelcey Wright Johnson weigh in on the most pertinent news from around the NBA. What’s lit? What’s lame? Find out each week right here.

From: Lang Whitaker

Sent: Monday, August 9, 2021 10:06 AM

To: Kelcey Wright Johnson

Subject: IMHO

And we are back! Kelcey!! The free agent moratorium has passed, which means team employees (like, you know, you and I) are now free to speak our minds, and to share our humble opinions.

And MAN has there been a lot happening! We’ve seen free agents jump from Conference to Conference, and even teams that we thought may not be all that active made some moves. Kawhi and KD stayed on their respective coasts and each re-upped for the long haul, while teams like Chicago have been frisky, and other teams like the Pelicans haven’t done all that much.

But let’s start with the players, since free agency is about players, after all. What move was the biggest surprise for you? And I know your answer is probably going to be Kyle Lowry, so let me follow up by asking if it was sad seeing him stamp his passport and return stateside to Florida?


From: Kelcey W. Johnson

Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 6:34 PM

To: Lang Whitaker

Subject: Re: IMHO

What’s up, Lang? I missed chatting with you – phew! It’s good to be back.

Sure, let’s start with Kyle. Definitely sad to see him leave the Raptors, but I think it has solidified who the greatest Raptor of all time is — the team plans to retire his number in the rafters of the Scotiabank Arena when he ends his career. That’ll be the first number they ever retire. And so, yes it is sad, but it also makes the Toronto girl in me so happy.

Some people might read that and say “Kelc, you’ve lost your marbles; what about Vince? Or Bosh? Or DeMar? Or Kawhi?!”. I’d giggle back and let them know their points are valid but let me say this: Kyle had a franchise-high All-Star appearances, he’s the franchise leader in assists and steals (and third in scoring behind DeMar and Bosh). They only started counting charges in 2016, but he leads in that and if they started counting earlier, he’d probably have 1,000,000,000 by now. He showed up in the big moments; like game 6 in the 2019 finals (a big 26 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals), he was the ultimate leader…and lastly, the cultural impact he made on the entire country is unimaginable. “We The North” just simply wouldn’t exist without him.

But enough about Kyle.

Westbrook to the Lakers was probably the most shocked I was during free agency last week.

I don’t quite know why it shook me to the core when I got that Woj bomb, but I just really didn’t see it coming. I knew he wanted out…but to the Lakers? Who are already so star-studded? Wow. Now, yes, there are some questions surrounding the age of that team, is there enough ball for them all, etc. Did all their moves (and it felt like they signed a whole brand new roster in a week’s time) make them better? I don’t have any of the answers quite yet…but I’ll give them this; I’m intrigued to see.

Let me skip ahead to some Lakers news that came out right before I started typing this to you…Dennis Schroder signs with the Celtics for one year on a $5.9M exception after declining the Lakers $84M extension (four years, guaranteed money). I’m shook for him. My stomach hurts for him. What do you make of this cautionary tale?

Russell Westbrook introduced by the Lakers

From: Lang Whitaker

Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 10:15 PM

To: Kelcey Wright Johnson

Subject: Re: IMHO

I love Dennis. I remember when he was a rookie on the Hawks, and nobody had heard of him, and he showed up like the German Rajon Rondo, all arms and angles, but not afraid to score. He became a mainstay on those Hawks teams, and eventually the Hawks moved on from Jeff Teague and handed the reins to Dennis, who seemed to love the spotlight. He’s bounced around a bit since then, but the whole LA thing never made sense to me. Dennis needs the ball to be successful. He’s not a spot-up shooter or a dude who sets up others. Dennis is a nightmare in one-on-one play, and that was never going to be in the cards in LA.

I don’t know how the Celtics plan on using him, but he’ll be more explosive than Kemba was, giving the Celtics that backcourt spark they haven’t had in a while, maybe since Isaiah Thomas was there.

Now, did he fumble the bag, as the kids say? Well, as you mentioned, he’s balling for a lot less money this season than he would have been otherwise. But you know what? Considering where he came from, scraping to make ends meet as a kid in Germany, getting paid $6 million to play basketball for the next year isn’t so awful. Add in the $70 mil he’s already cleared and he’s OK. He’s also still 27 years old. So I think we will see him bet on himself for a season, and then let’s see what he’s able to clear next summer.

Meanwhile, as free agency starts to wind down, I’ve been glued to summer league the last few nights. Summer League is always fun to discover players you never would have seen otherwise. For instance, I love that dude on the Magic with tats and blonde hair, who looks like he should be playing on the old guys court at the Y. He can read the floor! He just looks scary.

We are also getting to see all the rooks get their first NBA burn. Which players in Vegas have caught your eye early on??

Dennis Schroder on the court

From: Kelcey Wright Johnson

Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 9:16 PM

To: Lang Whitaker

Subject: Re: IMHO

When I began researching this draft class I knew it was going to be a super strong class…fast forward a few months now that we’re seeing them all at the Las Vegas Summer League, and I think I was right. We’ve some really great performances!

The first performance that caught my eye was Davion Mitchell on defense. HE LOCKED UP BOUKNIGHT! Did you see that clip on Twitter? Looks like he was the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year this season for a reason.

Then we got some major match-ups with Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green (the first and second draft picks this year). Green ended up leading the Rockets to the victory after scoring 25 points, going 6/11 from the field in only 30 minutes. He also hit 10 of his 11 free throw attempts.

Evan Mobley has been playing well. In Wednesday’s victory, he had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. He’s a steal for the Cavs.

And hey – I know Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman aren’t NBA rookies, but they are Summer League rookies because there wasn’t the Las Vegas event last summer due to COVID but they’ve really been playing well (I’ve been soooo impressed).

Have there been any summer league “rookies” that you’re surprised with?

Cade Cunningham against Jalen Green

From: Lang Whitaker

Sent: Friday, August 13, 2021 8:54 AM

To: Kelcey Wright Johnson

Subject: Re: IMHO

When I saw the clip on Twitter of Davion Mitchell locking folks up, it reminded me of a few years back when the Grizz drafted Jevon Carter and let him lock guys up at Summer League. Because the truth is, the defensive bar at Summer League is set pretty low. For the most part, players don’t go to Vegas looking to showcase their on-ball defense.

Which is ironic, because that’s one of the things teams are looking to see. Do you think NBA teams care how many points a guy can score in Summer League? Nah, they want to see if you can make the right read in pick-and-roll coverage, or if they understand how to rotate defensively, or a million other little things. Scoring is the thing that gets you in the highlights, but it’s literally the last thing most NBA teams need.

So when I watched the Warriors the other day, I wasn’t really that impressed by Jonathan Kuminga’s offense, as he tried a Euro Step on every drive. But that doesn’t really matter – the Warriors can coach that part of his game, or ostensibly they can. I liked the poise I saw from Jalen Suggs, and though his shot selection could use some work, he seemed like the kind of player who can control a game. Jalen Green immediately looked like he belongs at the next level, and I feel like Evan Mobley showed me enough to know he’s going to be fine also.

Huge Performances in Summer League + Ziaire Williams Debut | NBA Summer League

Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace and Kelcey Wright Johnson discuss the huge performances from Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman, as well as Ziaire Williams’ debut.

Recapping SLC Summer League and Previewing MGM Resorts Summer League | NBA Summer League

Recapping SLC Summer League and Previewing MGM Resorts Summer League | NBA Summer League

Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace and Kelcey Wright Johnson recap the Grizzlies’ performance in the Salt Lake City Summer League as well as previous the changes that the team is making as they look forward towards the MGM Resorts NBA Summer league.

Previewing Final SLC Summer League Lineup Before Vegas + Buchanan & Pons Shine | NBA Summer League

Previewing Final SLC Summer League Lineup Before Vegas + Buchanan & Pons Shine | NBA Summer League

Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace and Kelcey Wright Johnson preview the starting lineup with Desmond Bane, Xavier Tillman, and John Konchar, give an update on Ziaire Williams potential debut, and talk about Shaq Buchanan and Yves Pons showing flashes of greatness as the two showcase strong Summer League outings.