MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis Grizzlies open the 2018 preseason in Birmingham against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, but Grizzlies fans got an opportunity to see the squad on the court Saturday.
Memphis hosted its annual open practice, featuring a shooting contest and a scrimmage at FedExForum, giving fans the chance to see players like Mike Conley back on the court after missing most of the 2017-18 season with a foot injury.
“Felt a little awkward, I haven’t been in front of people like this in a long time, Conley said. A little nervous, but I had a lot of fun. Didn’t miss too many shots so I was proud of that. Shooting the ball and just getting up and down, being around the team, being around the guys, being in this home arena and on our home floor is something I’ve been waiting for.”
It was also the first chance for fans to see rookies Jaren Jackson Jr., and Jevon Carter in a Memphis uniform at the Forum, along with veteran newcomers like Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson, Omri Casspi and Shelvin Mack.
Grizzlies head coach JB Bickerstaff said he wants the upcoming season to be a reward for the players and fans who went through a 60-loss season a year ago.
"I give credit to the front office, and Robert and those guys," Bickerstaff said. "They've brought in people to help. There wasn't experiments. They were proven guys who you wake up in the morning, and you know what you're going to get from those guys. I think it's important; it was a message that was sent that last year wasn't acceptable, it's not the norm, and we're going to get back to the winning ways."
The Grizzlies tip off the 2018 preseason at Legacy Arena in Birmingham on Tuesday at 7 p.m.