Derrick Rose and Marcus Smart Clarify Roles: Focused on Victories, Not Supervising Ja Morant

by Madison Thomas
Memphis Grizzlies Team Dynamics

Former NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose and 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart emphasized on Monday that they are not in the team to serve as caretakers for their new teammate, two-time All-Star Ja Morant.

Their primary objectives are to aid the Memphis Grizzlies in clinching victories and to challenge Morant when he returns to gameplay on December 19, after serving a 25-game suspension.

“At the Grizzlies’ media day on Monday, Smart underscored the importance of Morant’s success to the team. “His success is integral to the team’s overall performance. If he fails to perform, the team’s success is unlikely,” Smart stated. He further added that this sentiment is widely recognized within the NBA community.

Rose, a Memphis college basketball alumnus, disclosed that he had communicated with both Morant and his father during the offseason. Rose expressed hope that Morant has gained valuable life skills such as patience and discipline. “Discipline and mindfulness about one’s actions and surroundings are crucial for any young man,” Rose commented.

The Grizzlies verified at their media day that Morant would be permitted to travel with the team, participate in practices, and even engage in shootarounds during his suspension period at the start of the NBA season. However, under the terms dictated by the NBA, Morant is expected to exit the arenas a few hours before game time.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had previously announced Morant’s second suspension in June, citing the need for the guard to cease his troubling habit of displaying firearms on social media platforms. The suspension was imposed a month after a video of Morant brandishing a handgun was disseminated online.

Zach Kleiman, President of Basketball Operations and General Manager for the Grizzlies, said the current approach benefits both Morant and the team. The emphasis, according to Kleiman, is for Morant to maintain his positive momentum. “He’s making commendable progress, and we eagerly await his return to the court,” Kleiman said.

Morant, who remained silent on Monday, was described by Kleiman as receiving an “appropriate” suspension following the NBA draft. Kleiman challenged Morant to alter the behavior that resulted in two suspensions in a span of four months.

Coach Taylor Jenkins expressed relief upon learning the specifics of what Morant will be permitted to do during his suspension. He views this period as an opportunity for Morant to focus on his well-being, both on and off the court.

The Grizzlies have devised a strategy aimed at challenging Morant to reach his full potential, especially considering he missed key games in past postseasons due to injuries. The team’s goal, Jenkins said, is to facilitate a smooth transition for Morant when he returns to the court on December 19 in New Orleans.

Smart is likely to be the initial starting point guard for the season. Meanwhile, Rose, who had a limited 27-game stint with the New York Knicks, is keen to demonstrate that he still has considerable skill left in him. Rose indicated that while his playing style may resemble Morant’s, he is prepared to push Morant to excel on the court and to help temper his recklessness during gameplay.

Last season, the Grizzlies secured the No. 2 seed, managing an impressive 20-5 record without Morant, who missed 25 games due to injuries. He played in a total of 61 games the previous season, so the team has experience performing without him.

All-Star forward Jaren Jackson Jr. highlighted the significance of having Morant around the team. “He’s always been a supportive presence, offering valuable insights even when he’s not on the court,” Jackson said.

The official source for this news is the Associated Press NBA: https://bigbignews.net/nba.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Memphis Grizzlies Team Dynamics

What are the main roles that Derrick Rose and Marcus Smart intend to play in the Memphis Grizzlies?

Both Derrick Rose and Marcus Smart have emphasized that their primary roles are to help the team win games and not to supervise or “babysit” their new teammate, Ja Morant. They intend to support and challenge Morant upon his return from a 25-game suspension.

Why is Ja Morant suspended for 25 games?

Ja Morant is serving a 25-game suspension due to his behavior of displaying firearms on social media platforms. This is his second such suspension, announced by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in June.

What activities is Ja Morant permitted to engage in during his suspension?

During his suspension, Ja Morant is allowed to travel with the Memphis Grizzlies, participate in practices, and take part in shootarounds. However, he is required to leave the arena a few hours before the game starts, according to the conditions set by the NBA.

What is the team’s approach to Ja Morant’s suspension, as stated by Zach Kleiman, the Grizzlies’ President of Basketball Operations and General Manager?

Zach Kleiman has stated that the approach to Morant’s suspension is beneficial for both the player and the team. The key for Morant is to continue making positive strides and to “stay on track” for a successful return.

What is Coach Taylor Jenkins’ view on Morant’s suspension?

Coach Taylor Jenkins sees the suspension period as an opportunity for Morant to invest in his well-being, both on and off the court. Jenkins aims to help Morant make a seamless transition back into the team’s lineup on December 19 in New Orleans.

Who is expected to start as the point guard in the absence of Ja Morant?

Marcus Smart is expected to be the initial starting point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies at the beginning of the NBA season during Morant’s suspension.

What is Derrick Rose’s current status and his perspective on Ja Morant?

Derrick Rose, who played only 27 games last season for the New York Knicks, is determined to prove that he still has much to offer. Rose acknowledges that while his playing style may be similar to Morant’s, he believes that Morant is on a “whole other level” and is prepared to challenge him on the court.

What is All-Star forward Jaren Jackson Jr.’s opinion on having Ja Morant around the team during his suspension?

Jaren Jackson Jr. considers it crucial to have Morant around the team, stating that he has always been a supportive presence and offers valuable insights, even when he’s not actively playing.

What has been the team’s performance in previous seasons when Ja Morant was unavailable?

In the 2021-2022 season, the Memphis Grizzlies secured the No. 2 seed and had a 20-5 record during the 25 games that Morant missed due to injuries. Therefore, the team has prior experience in performing well even in his absence.

More about Memphis Grizzlies Team Dynamics

  • Official NBA Website
  • Memphis Grizzlies Team News
  • Derrick Rose Career Stats and Highlights
  • Marcus Smart Career Overview
  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s Announcements
  • Zach Kleiman’s Statement on Ja Morant’s Suspension
  • Coach Taylor Jenkins’ Perspective on Team Dynamics
  • Jaren Jackson Jr.’s Career and Contributions
  • Memphis Grizzlies 2021-2022 Season Review
  • Social Media and Athletes: The Case of Ja Morant’s Suspension

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JennyQ October 3, 2023 - 9:54 am

its about time someone told Morant to stay on track. These suspensions are doing no good to his career or the team’s rep.

Steve-O October 3, 2023 - 10:07 am

Team did well last season even without Morant for a few games. Still, they’re better with him. Crossing my fingers for a strong return.

Mark J October 3, 2023 - 11:56 am

Wow, can’t believe Ja Morant got another suspension, especially for flashing guns on social media. What’s he thinking, man? Hope he gets his act together soon.

SarahW October 3, 2023 - 4:30 pm

Marcus Smart on point guard? That’s interesting, can’t wait to see how he fills in for Morant. Good for the Grizz to have such a strong backup!

basketball_fan88 October 3, 2023 - 4:57 pm

Derrick Rose still got game. Nice to see the veteran reaching out to the young star like Morant. Hope both of em make a strong comeback.

KennyB October 3, 2023 - 6:32 pm

Jaren Jackson’s words caught my eye. Good to know that Morant still brings positive vibes to the team even when he’s out. That’s a sign of true leadership, IMO.

Caleb_S October 3, 2023 - 7:24 pm

Coach Taylor Jenkins got it right, this is the perfect time for Morant to focus on his well-being. Sometimes setbacks are setups for comebacks, ya know?


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