Mike Conley knows his return to Memphis is ‘going to be tough’
New Utah Jazz recruit Mike Conley will be playing his first game back in his former stomping ground, as his team take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. The veteran point guard admitted that it’s not going to be easy for him to play in the FedExForum — a stadium that he called home for the past 12 years — considering all the emotional attachment he has with his former team.
“It’s going to be tough because there are going to be so many emotions,” Conley told Tony Jones of The Athletic. “And then, I’m going to have to find a way to try and play a basketball game.”
Conley was Memphis’ fourth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, and he has been the team’s star point guard ever since. However, with the organization deciding to turn the page on their franchise’s history books this summer, it meant that it was time for long-time servant Conley to bid farewell.
The 6-foot-1 guard was shipped off to the Jazz this offseason in exchange for a slew of role players and a future first-round pick. Since then, Conley has yet to settle in with his new team, as his start to the new season has left a lot to be desired.
Over the first 11 games of his Utah career, Conley has seen a significant dip in his production from last year. Right now, the veteran is averaging 14.7 points (on 36.9 percent shooting), 2.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 0.8 steals, while also knocking down 2.0 3-pointers on a 34.4-percent clip. Nevertheless, the Jazz are 8-3 to start the season, so in this respect, Conley has been doing a pretty good job manning the starting point guard job for the squad.