Mike Conley
Mike Conley will get his No. 11 jersey retired by the Grizzlies (Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Mike Conley was a key cog in the ‘Grit and Grind’ era for the Memphis Grizzlies. Conley has always been known as a pesty defensive point guard that really fit that slogan to a T. Conley played the first 12 years of his career with the Grizzlies before being traded to the Jazz this offseason. Conley still made a lasting impact on the franchise. So much so that they are planning to retire his number 11 jersey to be hung in the rafters.

Memphis owner, Robert Pera had the following statement:

“Mike Conley represented the Grizzlies and the City of Memphis with true heart and class during his 12 seasons,” Pera’s statement read. “His talent, determination and resilience elevated our team to a perennial playoff contender, and his altruism and sportsmanship helped shape the community focused nature of our franchise.

“For his innumerable contributions on the court and in our community, Mike will always be a beloved Memphian. We are proud that Mike’s #11 jersey will one day be raised to the rafters in FedExForum.”

Conley is the longest tenured Grizzly in franchise history so this makes some sense. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than retiring Tony Allen’s number. Now that was a wild move. Memphis plans to not only retire Conley’s number 11, but number 33 is also going up as the team plans to also retire Marc Gasol’s number. The only other number that is retired is Zach Randolph’s number 50. Those 4 players helped the Grizz reach the Conference Finals in 2012-2013.

The Grizzlies are now focused on the future. It’s the Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. show. Memphis at least appears to be heading in the right direction after starting to collect draft picks this offseason. Still, this comes down to whether Morant can replicate or even succeed what Conley did in Memphis. If I’m a Grizzlies fan, I’m awfully nervous after Morant called Russell Westbrook his hero. There’s never been a bigger red flag in the history of red flags.

Conely, 31, was drafted by the Grizzlies 4th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft. The former Ohio State point guard has averaged 14.9 points, 5.7 assists, on 44 percent shooting during his 12-year career.

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