An Open Letter To Memphis Grizzlies Point Guard Mike Conley

Ronnie HampstonCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2010

PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 25:  Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 25, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Grizzlies 126-111.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Dear Mike Conley,

This is a letter to remind you that you play a vital role this season if the Grizzlies want to advance to the playoffs. This is the first year where you are the clear cut starting point guard. Kyle Lowry is not over your shoulder and Allen Iverson is not around to steal minutes from you.

Your time in Memphis has been modest. You were drafted fourth overall and you're still finding your game after three seasons.

I know how good you can be. While playing at Ohio State you were the best player on the team. Greg Oden received all of the hype, but you and Ron Lewis were the engine that fueled Ohio State to the National Championship game.

In Memphis you have a lot of talent surrounding you in O.J. Mayo, Z-Bo, Rudy Gay, and Marc Gasol. All of the so called NBA experts say the Grizzlies are missing one piece and that is a point guard.

This is a time to shut up the haters and continue to improve your game. When you were drafted by the Grizzlies the knock on your game was you lacked a consistent jump shot. Now that you have a consistent jumper they say you lack play making ability.

The doubters will be there forever, just make sure you dedicate yourself and put the best effort for the team and the organization.

This season is very important for the young Grizzlies. The team improved to 40 wins last season and fell short of the playoffs by only a few games. Chemistry is important in basketball and this team has the tools to make the playoffs.

With strong play from you and the rest of the Grizzlies, this season will be a success. The point guard position takes time to adjust and sometimes organizations refuse to remain patient. Chauncey Billups and Steve Nash took several years to develop and now they are future Hall of Famers.

This season is underway and there is a lot of promise in Memphis. Mike, you are the x-factor on this team and your play can help elevate this team to the playoffs. 

Your numbers do not have to compare to Chris Paul or Deron Williams, but the steady improvement is more important than statistics. The fans in Memphis may have a reason to party on Beale Street by the end of the season. Continue to work hard and stay away from the negative press.


Ronnie Hampston