An emotional Dave Joerger on the veteran leadership of Matt Barnes & Vince Carter…https://t.co/JZpSbCWNly
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 24, 2016
In a nod to inevitability, the Memphis Grizzlies were swept out of their opening-round series by the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. But Dave Joerger‘s team has every reason to hold their heads up high. They’ve faced perhaps more adversity than any other team in the NBA as a rash of injuries has depleted their roster and forced them to a field a group of players that is almost unrecognizable to the ones who have given their playoff opponents fits in recent years.
Joerger talked about how his guys have responded, in particular how veterans Vince Carter and Matt Barnes never allowed their team to quit and embraced and encouraged all the marginal, no-name players who have suited up for the Grizzlies in the absence of their superstars.
It was a moving tribute to a team that now faces an uncertain future headed into the offseason. Mike Conley will enter unrestricted free agency, and Joerger himself has been pegged as a target for several other teams attempting to upgrade at the head coaching position. The franchise will likely face even more roster turnover beyond that, along with looming questions about whether this particular core group has likely seen their championship window slam shut.