After spending four average years with the Memphis Grizzlies, shooting guard O.J. Mayo signed with the Dallas Mavericks over the summer. While in Barcelona with the Mavericks for preseason basketball, HoopsHype spoke with Mayo about his time with Memphis. “I was disappointed because in my life I had always exceeded expectations. But (in Memphis), it was a little bit of a failure. I have to stay focused every night, practice hard, do extra work and stay prepared so that it won’t happen again”
If you saw him during his four years, he’s exactly right. Mayo was the third overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, . The Grizzlies traded superstar Kevin Love to the Minnesota Timberwolves to obtain him, so looking at it from that standpoint, the whole project has been a failure. Superstar Russell Westbrook and budding star Eric Gordon were drafted after Mayo – either of those two players are good enough to take the Grizzlies to the next level.
Things started off well for O.J as he averaged 18.5 and 17.5 points per game his first two years, but after being moved to the bench for Tony Allen after some consistent play, you just knew that Mayo and the Grizzlies would be parting ways soon.
He added more on dealing with being moved to the bench. “I felt like I could have done better (in Memphis). Starting and then moving to bench would be tough on everybody. I had started all my life, so that was something I had to adjust to.” You would think that after the success of Manu Ginobili, Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford or Jason Terry, that the Sixth Man position would hold more weight in the NBA, but I guess a player as young as he is wasn’t looking for that.
Now in the starting position for the Mavericks, all the pressure is on O.J. Mayo to live up to that 3rd overall pick potential.