Grizzlies news: Taylor Jenkins aiming to build ‘impactful relationships' with all of his players in Memphis
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Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins aiming to build ‘impactful relationships’ with all of his players

Grizzlies, Taylor Jenkins

First-year Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins is aiming to build “impactful relationships” with all of his players in Memphis.

Jenkins says the biggest thing he learned from working with Gregg Popovich and Mike Budenholzer is that strong, positive relationships are the key to building trust and ultimately winning games in the NBA.

“To me, the number one thing is relationships. You talk about adversity. Well, there’s going to be plenty of success in life, and there’s going to be adversity in life,” Jenkins told Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com.

“There’s going to be both success and adversity on the court. For us, if we have strong relationships and compete together, we all focus on getting better, the relationships that you have … well, I was (recently) at breakfast with Jae Crowder. It was, ‘Let’s talk about family.’ He’s had a lot of transition in his career. Let’s talk about who you are and what your journey has been like in life. When you show that true care, and I think Popovich is the greatest at it, when you can look across the table at someone and say ‘I’ve got your back and I know about you,’ you can handle and face the ups and downs together throughout the season.

“That bond can carry you throughout. Hopefully, what we’re trying to build here in Memphis is sustained success, and that’s only done through impactful relationships. In the NBA, there’s a ton of turnover and players come and go, but hopefully, as we witnessed with the previous era here in Memphis, with Marc Gasol and Mike Conley and Zach Randolph and Tony Allen, we can create that again where the community feels that. We’ll work first hand with the athletes that we have. They are people first. When I got the job, the first thing you’re doing is calling players, starting a rapport to help them through this.”

The Grizzlies are building the franchise around youngsters Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.

Memphis acquired Josh Jackson from the Phoenix Suns, Jae Crowder from the Utah Jazz and signed Tyus Jones in free agency this summer.

The Grizzlies likely won’t compete for a playoff spot next season, but as long as Taylor Jenkins build camaraderie in the locker room and sees players improve over the course of the season, it should be a successful campaign for the first-year head coach.