Grizzlies’ Mike Conley says last year was ‘most frustrating’ of his life
Mike Conley had the most difficult time of his career during his short-lived 2017-18 season. He was forced to remain sidelined for the majority of the season after dealing with a left Achilles injury that put an end to his campaign prematurely.
The 11-year veteran played in only 12 games last season, a year after putting up career-high numbers to back up the Memphis Grizzlies’ massive commitment to him over a five-year, $153 million deal — one that made him the highest-paid player in the league at the time he signed it.
“It was the most frustrating year or my life, of my career, because I felt coming into that season, I was on another level,” Conley told Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports. “Mentally, physically, my game. Everything was feeling, like, I’ve never played as good of basketball, I’ve never felt this good going into that season and for that to happen, it put me all the way down.”
The lefty floor general has had plenty of months to recover and claims he’ll be ready to go when the preseason starts, raring to get a chance to display his progress on the court.
Conley will have to do so without confidant David Fizdale, who was fired shortly into the start of the season after the Grizzlies lost nine straight, putting them in danger of winding up at the bottom of the Western Conference.
“Fiz was huge for me,” Conley said. “He unlocked a different part of my game that otherwise I hadn’t been able to showcase and show.”
The Ohio State product will have to bounce back under new coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who took over on an interim basis last season after Fizdale’s firing became official.