BU EXCLUSIVE – Mike Conley: “I’ll take the last shot”


One of the most underrated players of the entire NBA, heart and mind of the backcourt in one of the top teams in the Western Conference.


The staff of BasketUniverso was able to reach Mike Conley Jr. and the playmaker of the Memphis Grizzlies agreed to answer a few questions for us:

– Last year you were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the OKC Thunder after 7 really tough games: what did you learn from that experience? Can it be a motivation to do better in this postseason?

I think we all learned how to be consistent as a team. We had a chance to win the series in Game 6 and didn’t take advantage of it, the team came back to beat us in Game 7 so we learned how to be a little bit more consistent.

– Your motto is “Grit’n’grind”: you put a lot of hard work in defense and scrambles are your bread and butter. Today in the NBA we see that coaches search for show and entertainment on the court but you are focused on getting the W no matter what it takes: how much this “philosophy” is important related to group unity in and off the court?

I think you have to buy into our philosophy because it’s not popular and it’s not what everyone else does in the league. You have to get the right guys and here we have a great group and great coaches that emphasize defense and we all stay committed to doing that as a team.

Marc Gasol, Mike Conley– The NBA is moving through an expansion to Europe and other International markets, bringing in a lot of players from different countries around the world. The “star” of the franchise is Marc Gasol, a spanish guy, and off the bench you can count on Beno Udrih, out of Slovenia, in the past you also had Hamed Haddadi in you roster. How important is the multietnicity in your group? Are you planning to or would you like to do a tour in Europe in the near future?

I think it’s good for us, I think it’s good to have different guys from different backgrounds and different countries. You get the culture, you go out to eat with them and get to understand them a little bit better. I think it’s really good for us to have that kind of culture in our team. I love Europe! Definitely going again.

– Our last question is a little bit provocative: Game 7 on the line, you are down by one with 10 seconds to go, Memphis has possession. Who’s taking the last shot?

I would love to take that last shot!

HERE you can find the italian version of the interview!

All the staff of BasketUniverso wants to thank Mike and all the Memphis Grizzlies organization for this interview.

Francesco Manelli

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