Justin Timberlake actively recruiting Mike Conley
With the free agency period beginning this Friday, the number one priority for many teams is not to woo outside superstars, but to convince players they already have to stay with the team. Following the success Lebron James had in leaving his team to chase a championship, NBA franchises that feature ring-less stars must make the desperate pitch that the team will be able to make a championship run before their star retires.
The Miami Heat’s Pat Riley has stated that the team’s number one priority is to resign Hassan Whiteside, and the future of Oklahoma City falls on the team’s ability to convince superstar Kevin Durant to return to the team. The free agency decision of Memphis point guard Mike Conley is slightly less scrutinized nationally, but everyone around the Grizzlies organization has their eyes set on bringing back the 28 year old guard, once the fourth overall pick by the Grizzlies back in 2007.
In an attempt to show Conley how much he means to the organization, the Grizzlies released this video on their website titled “Our Conductor”. The video features a bit of everything, including an orchestra, ballet dancers, a drum line and step team, and an introduction from outspoken Memphis native and part owner Justin Timberlake. The video also features all-star teammates Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph deferring to their less lauded teammate as the true leader and “conductor” of the team, in addition to defensive stalwart Tony Allen calling Conley’s passing abilities ‘psychic’.
While some organizations are focusing on blockbuster trades to urge their players to stay, as we saw the Thunder do on the night of the draft, the Grizzlies campaign matches the demeanor of the franchise. A team that prides itself on grit, heart, and hometown pride this video highlights how much Conley means to his teammates and to the city. One thing is for sure, it is unlikely that Conley will receive this amount of universal respect if he signs somewhere other than Memphis.
Conley averaged 15.3 points and 6.1 assists in an injury shortened season last year, and is currently third on the Grizzlies all-time scoring list. He missed the playoffs for the Grizzlies, who were swept by the Spurs in the first round. Despite making the playoffs in each of the past six years, the closest the Grizzlies in the Conley era have come to a championship was in 2013 when they were swept by the Spurs in the Western Conference finals after upsetting the top-seeded Thunder.
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