Photo by Nikki Boertman
A week later, you can’t have a conversation with another Memphian without hearing it.
You don’t have to be talking about the Grizzlies, even. You could be talking about religion or …
First Memphian: Hey, how about this weather we’re having?
Second Memphian: I’ll like it better, once the Grizzlies get rid of Rudy Gay.
Memphians hate Rudy Gay. I know, hate’s a strong word; that’s why I chose it. They believe he’s to blame for the Grizzlies losing in the first round of the playoffs. They believe the team is doomed to be good-but-not-good-enough as long as he’s the so-called “franchise” player.
Apologies to the 12 of you who don’t actually hate Gay, and the three of you still undecided. The city has made up its collective mind: Gay makes too much money; he jacks up too many shots; he’s not tough enough; he’s not clutch enough; he doesn’t play hard enough; he doesn’t do enough except for when he’s trying to do too much; he pouts too much; he shows no emotion; and, on top of all that, he’s the antithesis of the Grizzlies’ grit-and-grind, rough-and-tumble approach to the game.
I hear it everywhere, from friends and co-workers, from the boss, perfect strangers, talk radio, and my pest-control guy. Mostly, they focus on the money, that five-year, $84 million contract Gay signed in 2010. People talk about Gay’s contract as if the money’s coming out of their pockets, not Mike Heisley’s.
Gay’s overpaid, they say. Yeah, most NBA players are. The Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (6-11, 265, 4.1 rebounds a game vs. the Grizzlies
This article originally appeared on: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/may/20/fair-or-not-gay-the-griz-fall-guy/