“The Officials, Complete Disrespect” | Life In The NBA Comes At You Fast. Memphis Grizzlies Went From Cocky Trash Talk To Blaming Refs

It has been a tough start to the season for the Memphis Grizzlies. The team is 2-8 and reeling. Head coach Taylor Jenkins ripped the officials after a loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday night and was fined $25K. Just two years ago the Grizzlies were a brash trash talking up-and-coming contender, but if things don’t start turning around soon changes will be coming. Life comes at you fast in the NBA.

“Saddle up,” Jenkins said following the loss to the Jazz on Friday. “One of the most poorly officiated games I’ve ever seen. Record it. I’m fine with it. F—ing atrocious.”

Poor Officiating

To be fair to Jenkins, that game was poorly officiated. The officials missed consecutive fouls committed by the Jazz. When the ref finally blew his whistle an incensed Jaren Jackson Jr. went at him asking where the calls were before. Jackson was given a quick double technical and ejected.

“He’s one of the most professional players in this league and gets a double technical foul, and the excuse that I get is that he’s charging at an official,” Jenkins said. “It’s called de-escalation.

“Our team is competing their ass off, and this is what happens? The interactions right now with the officials — complete disrespect. I know what’s coming. It’s unbelievable, the looks on the faces when I’m trying to engage in conversation to defend our guys that are busting their tail right now,” Jenkins railed.

The Grizzlies knew it would be a rough start to the season without their All-NBA guard Ja Morant, who was suspended 25 games for incidents involving guns. But this is a team that has historically played well without him. At worst they figured a .500 record without him would be doable. To get to .500 they would have to go 11-4 over their next 15 games. Highly unlikely.

Grizzlies Getting Their Comeuppance

Don’t expect anyone around the league to feel sorry for these Grizzlies. This was the team that “ducked no smoke” and “ran up the chimney” when they were blowing teams out en route to back-to-back No. 2 seeds in the Western Conference the last two seasons.

The young, brash Grizzlies went at veterans and superstars from LeBron James to Stephen Curry, and they talked. Now that they are getting humbled, they’re realizing the realities of what happens in this league when your mouth writes checks you can’t cash with your play.

Lost in the Morant suspension and some unlucky opponent three-point shooting is that the Grizzlies have lost players like De’Anthony Melton, Kyle Anderson, and Tyus Jones and haven’t been able to replace them. Not to mention the injuries to Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke. That’s on general manager Zach Kleiman.

None of the Grizzlies recent draft picks of Ziaire Williams, Jake LaRavia, David Roddy, Santi Aldama, and Kenneth Lofton Jr. have been plus players. That’s on the player development staff and coaching.

NBA owners get antsy when things go from bad to worse. Not saying the Grizzlies are there. But things have to start changing quickly. Morant’s return will mask a lot of things. Not everything.

If this team continues to struggle before then, changes are likely to come.

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