The Memphis Grizzlies are among the most exciting teams in recent memory. Ever since they drafted Ja Morant second overall in the 2019 Draft, they’ve been reaching new heights every year.
One of the reasons for their success is their star man. Morant is one of the most electric players in the NBA, and his high-flying dunks put people in seats. The rest of the team is also like their leader: young, talented, and hungry.
However, this team is also making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The team is getting involved in altercations, physical and verbal. Their latest antic—Desmond Bane practically targeting Kevin Love’s groin—is the latest of their scuffles.
They have been involved in more feuds than any other NBA team recently, which gets us to the meat and potatoes of this OKBET Sports piece.
We’ll discuss several fights Grizzlies players find themselves involved with. We won’t limit this to their trouble with other NBA teams, though; we’ll also throw a beloved sports media personality into the mix!
Surprisingly, the first sort of beef this Memphis Grizzlies had was justified.
The team traded for Iguodala in the 2019 offseason but wasn’t planning to build a contender around him. They wanted the first-round pick that came with picking up his contract. They would also probably trade Iguodala for more assets.
The 2016 Finals MVP understandably didn’t want to join a rebuilding effort and asked to be traded immediately. Iggy would eventually get his wish when he was traded to the Heat, but he claimed he was still willing to suit up for the young upstarts.
Iguodala may have missed out on a fun season, as Morant immediately made his impact felt on the team. They finished ninth in the West behind the Murray State product’s incredible rookie season, instantly making them the season’s best feel-good story.
Dillon Brooks made it clear to everyone that his refusal to play with the team back then still stuck with them. He brought it up after the Grizzlies won a regular-season game against the Golden State Warriors in 2022-23.
Dillon Brooks threw shade at Andre Iguodala after the Warriors' loss in Memphis pic.twitter.com/N8Tp9vwhhX
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 29, 2022
However, Iguodala got the last laugh as his team walked away with the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Speaking of Brooks, he is at the heart of some of the tensions involving the Grizzlies recently. This exciting team has plenty of things to say about the Warriors, and they aren’t shying away from it.
The trouble between the two Western Conference powerhouses began in earnest last year when Jaren Jackson Jr. tweeted a not-so-subtle jab at the Dubs after beating them in the regular season.
Strength in numbers 👏🏾
— JJJ (@jarenjacksonjr) March 29, 2022
Tensions rose further when the two squads met in the second round of the playoffs. The Dubs won in six, but plenty of fiery statements were shot by both sides in the middle of it all. The series became even sweeter after they won against the Boston Celtics to win the 2022 Championship.
Klay Thompson had something to say about Jackson’s tweet after winning his fourth ring:
Klay Thompson 🗣🔥
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) June 17, 2022
Memphis also used what Draymond Green had to say about them as fuel during the offseason:
“Memphis is going to get their reality check” – Draymond Green
Grizzlies have a Draymond Green quote in their weigh room 👀 pic.twitter.com/lLx0zGLVm4
— 929ESPN (@929espn) August 5, 2022
When the two teams met at Christmas, Thompson didn’t hesitate to let Brooks know who he was:
Klay really got a tech for staring down Dillon Brooks here 🤣 pic.twitter.com/JJcXTJekr6
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 26, 2022
And most recently, Steph had something to say about all the heated moments happening between the two sides:
Steph 😂 pic.twitter.com/FCFSDNq7CI
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 14, 2023
Not one to be outdone by his opponents, Brooks had something to say after the Grizzlies beat the Warriors in their most recent game, 133-119:
Dillon Brooks from the bench to Klay Thompson before the game ended:
— Damichael Cole (@DamichaelC) March 19, 2023
Brooks isn’t afraid to get up close and personal with another player, and he’s more than happy to be aggressive with his defensive approach. However, there are times when he takes it a bit too far.
The latest example is during the most recent game between the Grizzlies and the Cleveland Cavaliers. During a drive to the basket, Brooks failed to make his layup. Mitchell was able to grab the rebound and was about to make a bullet pass to a teammate.
The Canadian looked at the former Utah Jazz guard’s location and made a cheap shot to his groin.
Mitchell told everyone after the game that cheap shots are a part of who Brooks is as a player. He also believed that the former Oregon Duck did it because he’s been beating him on the court for years.
Fans can definitely expect the next meeting between the two players to be a fiery one.
The final entry on this list is one of the most eyebrow-raising feuds the Grizzlies had. It involves NFL Hall of Fame tight end and Undisputed host Shannon Sharpe.
After the first half of Memphis’ January 21 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Sharpe (a known LeBron fan) shouted at Brooks that he couldn’t guard the future Hall of Famer. Brooks replied with expletives, and things started getting out of hand.
Steven Adams, one of the nicest guys in the NBA, got involved. Ja Morant came over with a confused look on his face. Ja’s father, Tee, even had a bit of a shouting match with the sports media personality.
Both Brooks and Sharpe exchanged barbs after the altercation. The Grizzlies’ wing player called the 6’2”, 228-lb former tight end a blogger and a pedestrian, while Sharpe claimed that nobody on the Grizzlies wanted problems with him.
Sharpe eventually apologized on his show for his on-court behavior.
It’s important to clarify that the Memphis Grizzles aren’t the Bad Boy Pistons. Nothing the Isaiah Thomas-led Pistons of the eighties did then would fly under modern NBA rules.
However, they are also not shying away from their roughhousing persona. As Morant spends time away from the team to focus on himself, it may be time for the rest to re-evaluate their actions. Is it really worth antagonizing fellow NBA players this way?
The fans love it, though. Nothing is more effective than a heel when it comes to bringing buzz and interest into the NBA.