‘Grindstones’: The corny way the Grizzlies reward gritty play

‘Grindstones’: The corny way the Grizzlies reward gritty play

Garrett Temple happily agreed to the request.

Of course a reporter could take a photograph of the basketball in his locker adorned in stickers with the Memphis Grizzlies logo.

"You want to see all my grindstones?" he asked.

Then, from two lockers down, teammate Kyle Anderson piped in after the Grizzlies' 92-83 win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

"You think he's got a lot?" Anderson said. "Peep mine."

The common reaction when the Grizzlies are asked about the basketballs covered in stickers that sit in their lockers at FedExForum is a dry smirk or an eye-roll.

"Ask coach about that," Marc Gasol said.

It seems far-fetched that professional basketball players making millions of dollars could be motivated by the possibility of earning stickers.

But the moment of playful postgame banter between Temple and Anderson encapsulates why Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff instituted a messaging strategy this season that Anderson said reminds him of his days playing youth football.

"It's giving guys some sort of recognition for making difficult plays," Bickerstaff said. "What it does, is not only do they get recognized for it, they compete against themselves. Nobody wants to be the guy that doesn't have any stickers on their basketball."

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