The Memphis Grizzlies have bred some amazing talent over the years with their hard-nose and grindhouse culture. The likes of Zach Randolph and Tony Allen have helped developed this identity that the organization still carries around up until today.
Now, up-and-coming players such as Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. have sparked new hope into the franchise. Nevertheless, there have been notable players throughout history who don’t seem to get the same love and appreciation that these popular players do.
Here, we take a look at the five best players who played for the Grizzlies that you forgot about.
5. Mike Bibby (1998-2001)
Nowadays, it seems like the most recent memory that people have of Mike Bibby is how he got jacked on social media. However, he was an amazing passer early in his career for the Grizzlies as he racked up assists at a higher rate than any other guard in franchise history. With 8.4 per game in 2000-01 and 8.1 in 1999-00, he holds the first- and third-highest averages while his 38.3 percent assist rate in 2000-01 is fourth all time.
In terms of scoring, he also ranks seventh with 14.7 points per game. As for minutes played, he also placed second among all Grizzlies players with an average of 37.9 minutes per game. To put into perspective, he achieved all this in just a matter of three seasons. Pretty impressive.
4. Jason Williams (2001-05, 2010-11)
Who can forget about White Chocolate? Jason Williams’ seven assists per game puts him second in franchise history, while his his 39.5 percent assist rate is also No 2. In addition, he helped propel the Grizzlies to its first string of playoff campaigns with a strong offensive effort in his 11.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game. Notably, it was his “Showtime” dribbling and passing that made him the player that we all know today.
3. Rudy Gay (2006-13)
One of the more underrated players in Grizzlies history. Rudy Gay was the fifth-highest scorer in franchise history with 8,562 total points. He also led the team in scoring four times with an effective field-goal clip of 48.5 percent. Ultimately, he had flashes of brilliance every now and then, which simply wowed the fans.
2. Shane Battier (2001-06, 2010-11)
He wasn’t always just the smart guy on the Miami Heat. As a matter of fact, it was in Memphis when he was most productive. He placed on the All-Rookie First Team with 14.4 points and 1.6 steals per game, he posted a 59.7 percent True Shooting clip ,which put him seventh in the league, he made 120.3 points per 100 possessions that placed him third in the NBA and what is now second in team history, and he’s third on the list in offensive rating at 113.2 points per 100 possessions and field-goal percentage with 51.3 percent. Talk about efficiency.
1. Pau Gasol (2001-08)
For those that don’t recall, Pau Gasol was a Grizzly way before his younger brother, Marc, entered the league. Even though Pau was more popularly known as a Laker, he made a name for himself first when he was in Memphis.
He ranks second in franchise history in terms of scoring average with 18.8 points, second as well in rebounds with 8.6 per game, and No. 1 in blocks with an average of 1.8. Moreover, he led the team in scoring and rebounding six and five times, respectively; he also led the team in blocks five times, he’s eighth in offensive rating with 110.5 points per 100 possessions, and he’s in seventh place in terms of defensive rebounding rate at a 19.8 percent clip.
Overall, those stats should be hard to forget about in the first place.