Jazz’s Mike Conley says return to Memphis as a visitor ‘was really weird’
Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley revisits his old stomping grounds on Friday in his team’s matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies. It’s the first of four meetings during the 2019-20 season following the offseason trade that sent the veteran to Salt Lake City and the first of two that will see Conley playing at the FedEx Forum since he spent 12 seasons on Memphis.
Conley thinks visiting the Grizzlies as an opponent is “weird,” per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.
“It was really weird, I’m not gonna lie. Everything just seems backwards,” Conley said. “I used to come in the players’ entrance, now I’m coming in a different entrance. I’ve never been to the away locker room before, so I’m interested to see that. Staying at the hotel across the street is different. But, you know, seeing a lot of familiar people and faces is bringing me right back.”
The Grizzlies traded the 32-year-old former mainstay of several playoff teams and the Grit ‘n’ Grind era for four players and a 2020 protected first-round pick. It was the final blow in removing core members of the gritty Grizzlies like Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, and Marc Gasol — the last of whom was dealt mid season last year to the Toronto Raptors where he helped win the Canadian team their first title in franchise history.
Conley is hoping for that same sort of success with his new team. Despite a horrendous start to the season by the former Grizzlies point guard, things are picking up as he settles into a new role alongside Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.