Grizzlies Players Look Ahead to Next Season

Grizzlies Players Look Ahead to Next Season

It was a bittersweet ending for the Memphis Grizzlies - bitter, because the season is now over; sweet, because fans showed the team nothing but love and support.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - It was a bitter sweet ending for the Memphis Grizzlies - bitter, because the season is now over; sweet, because fans showed the team nothing but love and support.

"The thing that I'm proudest, we brought the city together," said Grizzlies center Marc Gasol.

In the eyes of fans, the Memphis Grizzlies are winners.

"It was unbelievable to see the fans, their reaction at the end of the game, and we kind of saw what we meant to them and that means a lot to us to have their support and them still cheering us on as we were walking off the court after losing - it just meant everything," said Grizzlies guard Mike Conley.

These underdogs showed the world it took a lot of grit and grind to make it this far to the 2013 Western Conference Finals.

"We showed everybody that our players are warriors and competitors," said Grizzlies Head Coach Lionel Hollins.

Both Memphis and Shelby County mayors stood by the team, declaring May 24 "Memphis Grizzlies Day." Blue and gold banners painted the Bluff City. Flags were raised to honor the team's historic success.

"It was great. The fans being great, the city being great, it's been great the whole year," said Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. "I want to thank them and the city, the fans for their support. If it weren't for them we wouldn't be able to get where we got to."

Grizzlies guard Tony Allen stated, "The city has a lot of love, got a lot of people running with the grit and grind movement."

"The love that we got from the city was amazing," added Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless.

During the last game against the Spurs it was very tough for Gasol and his teammates. Gasol said it was a long, tough journey, but couldn't be more proud of the city that stood by them.

I asked him to express himself a little more in detail in his native tongue.

"Siempre agradecer, siempre agradecer. Estoy muy agradecido y agradezco mucho a le gente, al apoyo que los han dado, el sentimiento, el cariño que han demostrado al momento y eso no tiene un precio. Para mi es algo que ellos han sentido y queos han dado eso para mi es lo máximo."

Translation: “Always be thankful, always be thankful. I am very thankful and I appreciate all the people, all their support that they gave us, their affection, their kindness that they demonstrated during these times, all of that was priceless. For me all their love and support that they showed us was amazing.”

A lot of the players say they love Memphis and want to stay here to get better next year, but some contracts are up, including the coach's contract.

After leading the Grizzlies to their best season in franchise history, Lionel Hollins is in high demand. His contract ends June 30th and according to reports, several teams would love to talk to him. The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers are two of the teams expressing interest.

Hollins made $2.3 million last season. He could be offered as much as $5 million a year. It's highly unlikely the Grizzlies would pay that much to keep him, but that remains to be seen.

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