How to Fix the Memphis Grizzlies

How to Fix the Memphis Grizzlies

Just a few years removed from the franchise's first Western Conference Finals appearance, the Memphis Grizzlies have been consistently tanking in the NBA Draft Lottery.

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Here's how I think the Grizzlies could return to the ranks of the top teams in the National Basketball Association:

Keep Your Front Office Functional

The Memphis Grizzlies' new Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Zach Kleiman, left, and new franchise President Jason Wexler

Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal

On April 11, 2019, as I was in the Mitchell Memorial Library cramming for final exams and projects, Memphis Grizzlies fans received quite possibly the greatest news they could've ever asked for, as it was announced that the team had fired Chris Wallace from the general manager position and reallocated him to a scouting role.

I believe that we should've completely severed ties with Wallace, but I'm just a Grizzlies fan who hates stupid decisions, and he has made plenty of them. Just to name a few, Wallace drafted Hasheem Thabeet 2nd overall in 2009 (instead of James Harden, Steph Curry, or DeMar DeRozan), gave a max contract to Chandler Parsons (who has only played in less than one-third of Memphis' games since his signing due to injury), lost trade leverage on MANY players (most recently, Tyreke Evans), and failed to communicate (wasn't clear on which Brooks would be traded; the Suns wanted Dillon Brooks and the Grizzlies wanted to trade MarShon Brooks). I would have (and still) preferred that we get Wallace as far away from our basketball team as possible, but I'll take what I can get.

Since Wallace's demotion, the Grizzlies management has seen that people actually do care about the team and are doing much more to make the team better. New team President Jason Wexler has taken over the general manager role, and he looks to work very closely alongside new VP of Basketball Operations Zach Kleiman.

Now, for the love of all things that are good, KEEP IT THIS WAY! The future of the Grizzlies finally looks promising again, and much of it is a result of removing the incompetence from power. Grizzlies fans are excited about the team again. Give Wexler and Kleiman the power to run the organization. They're both savvy young businessmen who have a passion for Memphis, and they are ready to help the team return to the dominant culture that was present during the Grit and Grind era.

Get the 2019 Draft Right...

The two prospects that Memphis is most likely to select with the second overall pick: Murray State's Ja Morant and Duke's RJ Barrett

On May 14, 2019, the Memphis Grizzlies made team history, and I was at Buffalo Wild Wings with my dad to witness it. They had the eighth-best odds to earn the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, and that pick would have went to the Boston Celtics (by way of the terrible Jeff Green trade, courtesy of Chris Wallace) if their odds betrayed them. However, by the grace of God Himself, the Memphis Grizzlies ended up with the second overall pick, behind only the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans are going to draft Duke's Zion Williamson, and that's a fact. No player has been as hyped up as Zion has since LeBron James, and he will make an instant impact on any team he plays for. It's too easy. However, that leaves Memphis with a difficult choice at number 2.

The Grizzlies have two realistic options: Murray State point guard Ja Morant or Duke forward RJ Barrett. Both are incredible players with very few flaws for a rookie, which makes the decision that much harder. With Mike Conley aging and wanting to be moved to a team that's closer to competing for a championship, my preferred choice is Ja Morant. He's already good enough to lead an NBA offense and his defense will improve in time. The Grizzlies have even come out and said they are planning to draft Morant, and Morant has said he's excited to be in Memphis, However, RJ Barrett is also a dominant offensive player that can command the floor much like Morant can. Both would pair very well for the future superstar of the organization Jaren Jackson, Jr., and I won't complain either way.

And Get Free Agency Right After That

Memphis's new players acquired in the Marc Gasol trade: Delon Wright and Jonas Valancinuas

Memphis did the right thing by trading Marc Gasol. It was the hard thing, but it was the right thing. They shed Marc's contract while simultaneously acquiring more value for the current team, future trade value, and an extra draft pick. Both Delon Wright and Jonas Valancinuas played valuable minutes and did good things during those minutes. Valancinuas has even expressed his desire to return to Memphis next season. This is a VERY good thing for the Grizzlies, as it shows that Memphis CAN be a legitimate free agent destination.

The main hope in post-draft transactions is to trade Mike Conley to acquire more value, just as the Gasol trade did. This will allow us to shed contracts to create more cap room to acquire prominent free agents. While the Memphis Grizzlies may have absolutely zero chance to sign players like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, there are other options for the team. Versatile players including Al Horford, Brook Lopez, Danny Green, among many others, are all eligible for free agency in 2019. If the Grizzlies front office could lure one of these players away from a big-market destination and into Memphis, we could be back on the map. We're closer to contending than people want to give us credit for, and with the right moves this offseason, we could be competing again sooner rather than later.

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11 Harsh Truths About Sorority Rush College Girls Should Find About Now, Not In September

For any young woman that is about to go through sorority rush, here's what to REALLY expect.

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There's a common theme of every sorority making it seem like rush is the best time in the world, and that Greek life is the best thing since sliced bread. While I'm not knocking the fact that some people probably really do enjoy rush, there are some harsh truths that I believe every young woman should know before heading into recruitment.

I gathered some quotes from different women from different sororities here at Jacksonville State to give you the most honest, unbiased, expectations and truths for going into recruitment.

1. Give it some time. 

"You're going to want a sorority that you're not going to get. 9 times out of 10 you won't go where you *think you belong. But-- where you end up is exactly where you're meant to be. My sorority was next to last on my list, but I decided that I was going to give it some time. Now, I've found my forever home. "

2. You have to be open-minded.

"Don't cater your personality to the sorority you think is best. You won't end up loving it because you won't connect with the girls. Be open-minded."

3. Be yourself. 

"My honest truth is that I thought I'd have to go in and put on a big smile and just be who they wanted me to be in order to get a bid. That's how I was in every single room except for the one that I got a bid from. I was only myself in the room I was sure I didn't want and because I showed my true colors, that's what made it my home."

4. Leave with no regrets. 

"Rush is about finding someplace that is your home and that you belong. I would advise girls not to be heartbroken if it turns out that a Panhellenic sorority is not their home here at Jacksonville State, because they can find their home in other organizations! Rush is also an opportunity to find friends. So, get out there and build relationships with the girls you meet because that's what I regret the most- not being open to new friendships and being too nervous."

5. They're just as nervous as you are. 

"Don't go into a room thinking that you're better than the women already standing in it. They've worked so hard all summer to perfect this week, for YOU. They are tired. They are nervous. They are excited. They might trip on their words. They might get uncomfortable if you act like you'd rather be dead than in their party. Even if you don't believe that sorority is your home, be nice. Your attitude in every room during rush will follow you."

6. Sisterhood makes it worth it.

"Recruitment is emotionally draining and you think it won't ever end, but it's so worth the sisterhood that comes from it."

7. Stay true to yourself. 

"Umm, I would say recruitment is probably going to be one of the most stressful times that a girl is going to go through coming into college! You will feel pressure from every aspect just trying to make sure you make the right decision and end up in the right one. While we are all fundamentally similar it breaks down to very different girls and you need to make sure you stay true to yourself so you will actually enjoy the sorority and girls that you end up around. If you can just make it through and not care what others have to say about where you wanna go ( because people will try to tell you where you should go) stay true to yourself and do what's best for you."

8. Trust the system.

"You don't always get the sorority you think you want, but it usually ends up being better for you in the long run. Trust the system."

9. Just breathe.

"With all honesty, my best advice is to be yourself. Recruitment can be very stressful and sometimes a little overwhelming, but just go based off your heart. Do not let your friends make the decision for you because their choice may not be your best fit. You can still be friends and be in different sororities. Now there is a possibility that you are torn between two sororities and that's okay. Just breathe and think about who you see yourself with more and figure out what YOU want."

10. Don't stress yourself out.

"While recruitment is very draining and stressful, take time for yourself to de-stress and relax after your parties. Get a good nights sleep, and think about your values and how you truly connect to the women you had met that day."

11. It's not for everyone.

"Greek life is wonderful, but it's not the only place to find belonging. If you go through rush and don't find your home, don't be discouraged. You're not going to lose any of your friends because they joined a sorority and you did not. There are tons of other opportunities to get involved and make friends in other organizations."

I'm not writing this to scare anyone away from Greek life. I'm writing this to give, the young women who are about to rush, real and honest expectations and opinions from women who've already been through the process. There are so many benefits to joining a sorority. Lifelong friends, job connections, campus opportunities, connecting with others who share your values.

Even though Greek life won't be a perfect fit for everyone, you can still get these same things I just listed by joining any other campus organization. It's all about finding where you really belong.

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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