Feb 24, 2010, 11:22 AM EDT
The fact that Hasheem Thabeet was projected by many to be an NBA bust didn’t deter the Memphis Grizzlies from selecting him second overall in the draft this past summer. Nor did the fact that they already had a more than serviceable center on the roster in Marc Gasol. Nor did any of the obvious warning signs (Thabeet’s struggles to rebound at the NCAA level despite his incredible size, his lack of offensive refinement, etc.).
Thabeet is still just 23 years old and his career is anything but over, but Grizzlies’ coach Lionel Hollins sent a message on Thabeet’s play with perfect clarity when he announced that Iranian center Hamed Haddadi would be supplanting Hasheem as Memphis’ back-up center. Haddadi has played in just four games this calendar year, but it was his defense against the Lakers last night and his work in practice that won him the spot.
I’m sure that Haddadi is giving it his all in practice and he did provide a burst of defensive energy last night, but this move is more about how bad Thabeet has been rather than how well Haddadi has played. The Grizzlies’ biggest weakness is likely their lack of depth across the board, and with Thabeet struggling to produce on either end of the court, Hollins is looking for a spark.
- Shaq to Kobe on podcast: “I just want people to know that I don’t hate you” 10
- D’Angelo Russell on Tracy McGrady tweet: “Some Lakers fans are spoiled” 19
- Anthony Davis “definitely” plans on shooting more threes this season 4
- Jim Buss defends Byron Scott as Lakers coach, “He has the Laker blood in him” 24
- Jim Buss open to the idea of Kobe Bryant playing beyond this season 32
- Derrick Rose on sexual assault suit: “I am confident I will be proven innocent” 4
- Report: Kyrie Irving likely not back opening night, could be out until January 14
- Legendary Sixer, backboard-shattering dunker Darryl Dawkins dies at 58 14