Report: Garrett Temple, Omri Casspi Involved in Physical Locker Room Altercation

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2019

Memphis Grizzlies guard Garrett Temple (17) plays in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

The Memphis Grizzlies fell to 3-10 in their last 13 games thanks to Wednesday's 101-94 loss to the Detroit Pistons, and the losing is apparently taking its toll on the team.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Grizzlies held an "emotional team meeting" in the locker room following the game, but it "turned physical in an altercation between veterans Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi."

Charania added more details, noting players were "questioning each other about their effort and what each can do to improve" before Casspi became defensive when "a perceived lack of enthusiasm" from the bench was raised. That led to the physical altercation.

Neither had much impact on the game. Temple finished with seven points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field despite starting, and Casspi played a mere five minutes off the bench and missed both field-goal attempts in a scoreless effort.

"I think addressing larger issues was the conversation that we needed to have," head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the game, per David Cobb of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "Right now, it's not X's and O's that need to be resolved. I think we resolved some of those issues tonight."

Cobb noted only veterans Mike Conley and Marc Gasol remained in the locker room by the time reporters were granted access, with the rest of the team clearing out following the reportedly heated exchange.

"We were openly sharing our thoughts and trying to fix the situation and getting back into being a really good basketball team together and doing the things we need to do consistently to win games," Gasol said of the meeting.

It is another concerning headline for a Grizzlies team that is trending in the wrong direction after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.

They are now 2.5 games behind the San Antonio Spurs in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference following the recent slump and will be in action again Friday against the Brooklyn Nets.

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