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Top Ten Memphis Grizzlies of All-Time

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We’ve hit the dog days of the NBA summer.  All the big name free agents have been snatched up.  Summer league is over.  Training camps are still weeks away.  So, now is the perfect time to reminisce a bit.  The Hoops Manifesto has gathered together a stellar collection of Bloguin basketball writers to determine the top ten players all-time for each of the 30 NBA franchises.  Next up: the Memphis (nee Vancouver) Grizzlies.

Voting panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, College Wolf from the TWolves Blog, Don from With Malice, Philip from Orlando Magic Daily and Diego from Leaving It All On The Court.

10) O.J. Mayo – Memphis Grizzlies – 2008 – present

Grizzlies accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 2008/09 & 2009/10
- NBA All-Rookie Team 

“One of the best young talents in this game, Mayo can really put the ball in the basket. He can score from anywhere on the court and has a sweet stroke. For the Grizzlies, that’s good enough.” – Diego Quezada

“The main question is, now that teammate Rudy Gay got a ridiculous contract, will there be enough money left over to keep Mayo in Memphis when the time comes?” – Jeff Fox

9) Jason Williams – Memphis Grizzlies – 2001 – 2005

Grizzlies accomplishments:

- Grizzlies all-time leader in assists

“Playing for the Memphis Grizzlies may have been the best thing that happened to Williams. Under the guidance of Hubie Brown, White Chocolate settled down considerably and become a more efficient player as opposed to his style-over-substance days in Sacramento.” – Diego Quezada

8) Marc Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies – 2008 – present

Grizzlies accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 2008/09
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“The other Gasol has a very big body and a very good touch around the rim. He and Zach Randolph became one of the more intimidating power duos in the League last season.” – Diego Quezada

“The perfect team for him – he looks like a grizzly bear.” – Jeff Fox

7) Mike Bibby – Vancouver Grizzlies – 1998 – 2001

Grizzlies accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1998/99
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“In his first and only three seasons at the Grizzlies, Bibby put up averages of 14.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game.  That’s pretty damn good.” – Don

6) Shane Battier – Memphis Grizzlies – 2001 – 2006

Grizzlies accomplishments:

- Grizzlies all-time leader in steals
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“Not a star, but a player every coach wants on his team. Battier is a disciplined defender and good three-point shooter. He’s Bruce Bowen without the cheap shots.” – Diego Quezada

5) Mike Miller – Memphis Grizzlies – 2003 – 2008

Grizzlies accomplishments:

- Grizzlies all-time leader in three-pointers (made & attempted)
- NBA Sixth Man of the Year

“Miller is widely known as a three-point shooter, but he did a lot more in Memphis. During his six-year tenure with the Grizzlies, Miller handled the ball, rebounded and sometimes created his own shot, and did it all effectively.” – Diego Quezada

“One of the stars of Memphis’s playoff run. Miller also never really lived up to his potential, while also outperforming it in a lot of ways. In recent years, Miller has become a conundrum – a shooter who refuses to shoot. That will need to change in Miami. But while with Memphis, Miller was one of the league’s top three-point shooters and a major threat that helped push the Grizzlies to their only playoff appearances.” – Philip

4) Zach Randolph – Memphis Grizzlies – 2009 – present

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Grizzlies accomplishments:

- one-time NBA All-Star

“After struggling with injury and weight problems, Randolph emerged as one of the best kept secrets in the NBA last season. He averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds per game and became a reliable low-post option for the Grizzlies. For his efforts, he earned a spot on the All-Star team.” -  Diego Quezada

“Yes, Randolph has only played one year in Memphis. But the mercurial Randolph earned an All Star appearance last year and nearly got Memphis to the postseason. It seems like Randolph has finally found the right channel for his talents and Memphis, I am sure, cannot wait to see what he does this year.” - Philip

“Do you know how many All Stars the Memphis Grizzlies have had?  Pau Gasol, and Zach Randolph.  That’s it.  And guess who’s stats were better?  Randolph’s.  Zach has endured a lot of crap over the last year or so… and if we’re honest, he at least partially deserves it.  He certainly has made some bone-headed decisions.  But we’re not judging him on ‘who’ he’s been… who is he now?  He’s one of the best to put on a Grizzlies uniform.” – Don

3) Rudy Gay – Memphis Grizzlies – 2006 – present

Grizzlies accomplishments:

- NBA All-Rookie Team

“Fresh from receiving an $82 million contract from Memphis, Gay has been a reliable 20-point scorer for the past three years. The athletic small forward has a solid all-around offensive game, but is probably a second banana on a championship team.” – Diego Quezada

“Nearly every night, Rudy Gay’ll give you 20+ points.  There aren’t too many wingmen in the league you can say that about… other than the very elite.  Every season, Gay has improved on his statistical averages – there’s a damn good chance that in five years time, we find him even higher on this list.” -  Don

2) Shareef Abdur-Rahim – Vancouver Grizzlies - 1996 – 2001

Grizzlies accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1997/98 & 1998/99
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“Thrust as the Vancouver Grizzlies’ franchise player as a rookie, Reef played admirably during his first five seasons. He was always a 20-point scorer, even if he left much to be desired on the glass.” – Diego Quezada

“He was no superstar and he never accomplished anything major in a Grizzlies uniform, but you never forget your first superstar. Abdur-Rahim was actually a solid player and not the injury-riddled tweener for Atlanta and Sacramento. Abdur-Rahim averaged more than 20 points per game in four of his five seasons with Vancouver and he flirted with averaging a double-double with rebounds throughout his first five years. But Shareef will always be a question of what could have been.” – Philip

1) Pau Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies – 2001 – 2008

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Grizzlies accomplishments:

- Grizzlies all-time leader in games, minutes, field goals (made & attempted), free throws (made & attempted), rebounds (offensive, defensive & total), blocks & points
- one-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“There’s no one else.  Literally.” – College Wolf

 ”Memphis has been to the playoffs only a few times. While the Grizzlies have never won a playoff game, Gasol was the impetus for those playoff runs and unarguably the best time in the Grizzlies’ short history. Gasol made teams worry about Memphis. Now everyone worries about him and his skills with Los Angeles.” – Philip

“Gasol took a perennial losing roster and took it to the playoffs in the spring of 2004.  Forget when he became a Laker, Gasol came to work day in and day out at Memphis and put up numbers that would stand up to a comparison with any other center in the league (despite playing out of his true position).  When writing this, I think I silently thanked Chris Wallace four times.” – Don

Previous franchises done: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Clippers, Lakers.

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto

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