Yes, this is the account that once said “in order for the Grizzlies to reach an elite level, they need to fire head coach Dave Joerger.” But, that was before he proved that concept wrong. Completely wrong. It was an unusually bad season for a typically successful franchise. The unsuccessful run was because of a devastating injury bug, which caused a lot of injuries.
In result, the Grizzlies signed 28 different players to their roster prior to the playoffs. That means 28 different players dressed up for the Grizzlies in one season. That currently sits as an NBA record for a playoff team. During that time, most NBA analysts were saying “the Grit ‘N Grind era is coming to an end,” or something like that. They were saying coach Dave Joerger’s time in Memphis is pretty much over.
But, if there’s anybody in that organization that faithfully stood by the Grizzlies’ “All Heart” slogan with their chin up high, it’s Joerger.
Can you remember seeing any point in time when Joerger sat down and gave up on his team? And can you remember a time when Joerger said he didn’t believe his team could even make the playoffs. I can confidently your answer to that is a no.
Joerger did not ever give up on whatever team he had on the court, and that was contagious to the team. No player gave up, which lead to yet another playoff appearance for Memphis. Although they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs, they never intended on quitting. Ultimately, Joerger ended the Grizzlies season in tears because he was highly impressed by the guys he had on the court – all 28 of them – saying “they could’ve quit.”
If anything, Joerger, who has one more year left, deserves an extension and more time to develop this team into his vision. If Joerger can get everything out of the undermanned team, you can only imagine what he can get out of a talented basketball team.
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