The first half of last season, O.J. Mayo became marginalized in Memphis. His role with the team was fading, he was coming off the bench and he was shopped around then almost traded to the Pacers.
That all changed after Rudy Gay suffered a shoulder injury, the team had to lean on Mayo again and he responded. In the playoffs Mayo played a key part of Memphis’ run.
Looking back, he said the first part of last season had him questioning his commitment to basketball. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated has the quote in a tweet.
OJ Mayo on last season: “It was the most [difficult] thing ever. At one point I was like, ‘man do I still want to play?’”
It’s hard to know exactly how seriously to take this quote. But if getting benched because you’re not playing well leads you to question if you still want to play, if he were on my team that would concern me. I want guys who see that loss of time as a challenge, not a threat. But Mayo is feeling confident now, and that will be good for the Grizzlies next season.