MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The news of the Mike Conley trade spread fast around town, as Grizz Nation reacted to losing a franchise cornerstone.
The banner outside FedExForum showed Conley wasn’t just a winner on the court, but also off the court.
With Conley’s departure, Grizzlies fans shared mixed emotions, with some sad about losing a final piece of the past, and others excited about the future.
We found fans who were sad. One said: “I’m not too pleased with it.” Another said: “Still bummed, still would rather keep him.”
Other Grizzlies fans shared more of a sense of pride.
“I think it’s good for Mike Conley to move on to greener pastures,” Cassius Watkins said.
The 12-year Conley era with the Memphis Grizzlies is over. He’s headed to the Utah Jazz in a trade, a move which divided Grizzlies fans.
“They never would have gotten to where they did go, without him being a part of it,” Conley Reilly said.
“When you get three players and two picks, that’s a pretty good deal,” Keith Terry said.
The Conley trade officially ended the seven-time playoff ‘Core Four’ era and followed the departures of Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol.
“It’s bittersweet that Marc and all the other guys have gone, but I’m really happy to get in the new pieces that we’ll get. We are getting to the keys to a new Cadillac as they say,” Watkins said.
With Conley and the ‘Core Four’ era in the rear view, Grizzlies fans focused on the future and young core, centered around 19-year-old Jaren Jackson Jr.
“Can’t wait of this era to kick off, I can’t wait for Jaren to blossom,” Watkins said.
Now Grizzlies fans focus on another big day Thursday: who the franchise will select with the no. 2 pick in the draft.
Thousands are expected inside FedExForum for an NBA Draft watch party.