The Memphis Grizzlies have managed to keep their core of Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Tony Allen together for a few seasons now, and as a result, the team has played a style of basketball that’s created an identity.
Allen coined the phrase “Grit and Grind” to describe how Memphis goes about its basketball business, and FedEx Forum where the team plays its home games has come to be known as the Grindhouse.
It’s great for the local fans to be able to rally around and embrace something like this, but it only serves to annoy those outside of that inner circle — and that apparently includes Russell Westbrook.
[Westbrook] was responding to a question from one of Memphis’s longest-tenured TV sports anchors, Jarvis Greer, that went like this: “Your road record is one of the best in the NBA but talk a little bit specifically about playing here in the Grindhouse against this team.”
Westbrook gave Greer a bit of a quizzical look and said, “”You said the FedExForum? That’s the name of the arena, right?”
To which, Greer answered in the affirmative. Then Westbrook continued: “Uh, playing at the, uh, FedExForum , it’s a good arena, the fans are loud and they cheer on their team and we just gotta come in and play our game.”
Westbrook has a history of getting a bit testy with reporters, but this seemed like a different situation.
— CA Sports (@memphissports) April 24, 2014
There’s no reason for Westbrook to respect the identity of his opponent, or to give them any additional respect by recognizing it.
But making a point to stubbornly refuse to go along with it like this is some next-level trolling — a craft which Westbrook seems to be honing to perfection.