Last year, the Grizzlies came onto the scene as a rising power in the Western Conference, earning the No. 2 seed in the NBA playoffs. Memphis developed a budding rivalry with the Warriors, and the team has produced a tough culture that gets under the opponent’s skin.
However, as the Grizzlies have continued to play with that kind of attitude, more people in and out of the league have started to view them differently. Star point guard Ja Morant recently fueled his team’s villainous status by saying the Grizzlies are the team to beat in the Western Conference this season.
Now, Morant says he believes observers on social media have turned against Memphis and that the Grizzlies are the most hated team in the league.
“We are, you see it on social media,” Morant said. “Anything that has to do with the Grizzlies is front line national television and national people putting it out. Anything else, it don’t be said.”
The Grizzlies have lost eight of their past nine games, and Morant believes some people are singling out their struggles.
“I feel like we wasn’t the only team on a losing streak, but we are the only ones mentioned,” he said.
A recent Grizzlies controversy occurred last week in a game against the Cavaliers, when Memphis forward Dillon Brooks was ejected for appearing to intentionally hit Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell in the groin with his arm and sparking a skirmish. Earlier this year, Brooks also got into a shouting match with former NFL tight end and media personality Shannon Sharpe in the middle of a game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Despite the recent losses, Memphis currently holds the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with a 32-21 record, 4 1/2 games behind the Nuggets.