The Memphis Grizzlies and Rudy Gay have some unfinished business this season. The Grizz won 41 games last year, earned the number four seed in the Western Conference and had exactly what they wanted in the playoffs, game seven on their own home floor against the Los Angeles Clippers. Memphis let it slip away and Los Angeles sent them on vacation early. There is a lot of bad blood now between the two teams after their playoff series and the new rivalry will be renewed on opening night in Los Angeles.
Rudy Gay joined ESPN 92.9 in Memphis with Eric Hasseltine to talk about the business side of basketball, on his role expanding as one of the leaders of the Grizzlies, on the full season this year as opposed to the condensed schedule, if the Grizzlies have unfinished business and whether he thinks him and Zach Randolph can co-exist.
On not liking the business side of things in the NBA:
“I’m starting to realize as I get older that the business part is not for me. I just love playing basketball and whatever happens on the court then it happens.”
How big the business side in the NBA is:
“There’s a lot that comes with this game, a lot of people don’t realize. Not only just in my position but anybody. A lot of stuff you have to deal with and it’s definitely a business. People think we just go out here and play basketball and we are blessed to do something we love to do but it’s a job just like everybody else.”
On his role expanding as one of the leaders of the Grizzlies:
“What I learned a little more last year, okay you don’t have to be that kind of guy but every now and then you have to let people know how you feel and let your presence be known in the locker room or even in the media, any way you can. Just let people know that this is not okay and we can fix that and finish it the right way. Part of that is having people talk to you and letting you know when you’re wrong so that’s one of the things I’ve learned as a leader.”
How excited he is for a full season as opposed to a condensed schedule:
“What more can you ask for? Last year was just crazy. Last year Marc (Gasol) was like ‘you guys want to get a T-Shirt that says I survived the lockout season?’ It was funny then but it was definitely difficult travelling and doing all those things with not that much rest.”
Whether he feels like the Grizzlies have unfinished business:
“Definitely and how fitting that our first game is against the Clippers. (Host: Do you like them? Be honest.) Honestly no I don’t. (Host: I know you’re friends with Chris (Paul).) I mean I love him but I don’t like him anymore. (Host: I mean that’s your brother but as a team and man look they made a new rule because of them, the flopping rule came out.) Well yeah. (Host: What do you think about that?) One of the best parts of the playoffs last year was seeing Chris with the bonnet on. That was hilarious.”
If he believes he and Zach Randolph can co-exist:
“It has little to do with us at all. It’s easy for people to say ‘well it went one way without this person or even without me’ but it’s just crazy because we haven’t had a full season together. It’s tough to even say. People are going to say whatever but the better people make something out of that, prove themselves and actually get better. We’re working to prove ourselves and prove to other people that we can do it.”