Grizzlies Getting ‘Hard Knocks’ Treatment

The Memphis Grizzlies are going to get a little national recognition – before the season even starts.

NBA TV’s weeklong “NBA Real Training Camp” series will showcase the Grizzlies on Friday, Oct. 2, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The series, which began airing Tuesday while highlighting the Minnesota Timberwolves, also was to feature the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, Sept. 30, and the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, Oct. 1.

The Grizzlies edition of the show – providing exclusive access during the team’s practice and including interviews with players, coaches and front office personnel – will air on NBA TV and be streamed live on Jared Greenberg will host the program from Santa Barbara, Calif., with NBA TV analyst and NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller.

The Grizzlies start their preseason schedule on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at FedExForum vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder. The regular season starts here Wednesday, Oct. 28, against the Cavs and LeBron James.

– Don Wade


Grizzlies 7th in ESPN’s first NBA Power Rankings

ESPN’s Marc Stein has released his first edition of the 2015-16 NBA power rankings and the Memphis Grizzlies check in at No. 7, just behind the Houston Rockets and just ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Not surprisingly, the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors are No. 1. The reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who help the Grizzlies open the season Oct. 28 at FedExForum, are No. 2. The San Antonio Spurs, whom Stein says “won the summer” with their moves, are third. From Nos. 2-8, it’s all the Wild, Wild West. The L.A. Clippers are 4, the OKC Thunder 5, and then the Rockets, Grizz and Pelicans.

Stein writes: “The Grizz are still waiting on the trade out of the West they dream about. They still need more shooting too. But the deals for uber-athletic Brandan Wright (to complement Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph) and Matt Barnes (who was seemingly born to grit ‘n’ grind) look like sneaky-good moves to keep Memphis in the elite.”

– Don Wade

AutoZone honored for commitment to the arts

Congratulations are in order to Memphis-based AutoZone, which the organization Americans for the Arts is honoring next month at its annual awards gala as being among 10 U.S. companies honored for their “exceptional commitment to the arts.”

The honor will be formally bestowed at a bash in New York City on October 6.

Reasons cited by the organization for its inclusion of AutoZone are things like the company’s founder and former CEO in 2004 spearheading an endowment campaign that raised $27.2 million for the arts in Memphis. AutoZone, according to the organization, also commissioned Opera Memphis to create two iterations of “AutoZone: The Opera” for the company’s national conferences in 2013 and 2014.

AutoZone was nominated for the honor from Americans for the Arts by ArtsMemphis.

On the Josh Pastner Q&A

Josh Pastner isn’t going to budge on certain things. It’s his greatest strength and most pronounced weakness.

That’s one takeaway from a Q & A with the Memphis Tigers head coach that you can read in its entirety here.

Pastner speaks on many subjects: from Austin Nichols’ transfer to his thoughts about how he is sometimes portrayed in the local media.

He responds to Tiger Nation’s loud displeasure over the university’s initial plan to honor John Calipari, and talks about being compared to Calipari’s best four years at Memphis.

Pastner also recalls the unique way in which he was hired and says he will always take the positive view on things, even though he says he has sometimes been “burned” by doing so.

You can also read shorter versions of in the interview in the print copy of The Daily News and the weekly Memphis News.

– Don Wade

Memphis releases 2015-16 basketball schedule

The University of Memphis basketball team face 11 opponents that played in the 2015 postseason and will play Ole Miss for the first time since meeting in the 2010 NIT and 2006 regular season.
uofmlogoThe Rebels come to FedExForum Dec. 18; it is one of seven home December games. The Tigers play 11 of the first 12 games at home, with a Nov. 27 neutral site game vs. Ohio State.
Memphis opens with a Nov. 6 exhibition game against LeMoyne-Owen. The season opener is at home vs. Southern Miss, and three days later Oklahoma’s Sooners come to FedExForum. Oklahoma could be a preseason Top 10 team.
Other opponents listed in early preseason rankings include American Athletic Conference foes SMU, Connecticut and Cincinnati. The Tigers play the Huskies and Bearcats at FedExForum on Feb. 4 and 6, respectively.
The AAC postseason tournament will be March 10-13 in Orlando, Fla.

Here’s the entire schedule, including which network(s) will televise each game.

– Don Wade