At Memphis Grizzlies media day, which you can see interviews from on the team’s website, new head coach Dave Joerger talked about the role that he envisioned for rookie Jamaal Franklin, who was selected with the 11th pick of the second round, in the upcoming 2013-2014 NBA season.
There were two things that Joerger said that really stood out. First, he said that the less Franklin tries to do and the more he just exerts energy and competes, the better he will be for them this season. Secondly, Joerger also added that Franklin can have an impact off the bench as a defensive player.
Those two descriptions seem to describe another player on the Grizzlies, another player known for his defense and that is at his best when he’s just going out and competing. That other player is veteran wing Tony Allen. As fitting as it seems given what Allen does and what Joerger is asking of Franklin, Allen has taken Franklin under his wing early on, per their interviews posted on the team website.
In Franklin’s interview he said that he was now known as the “Grindson” around the locker room, the protégé of the “Grindfather,” Allen. Franklin also added that Allen’s locker was right next to him, so they have been able to develop a solid relationship even early on in Franklin’s NBA career.
Looking at Franklin, him modeling his game after Allen seems like a solid path for him to take. Though Franklin may have a bit more offensive talent than Allen, he also has the same tenacity, length and athleticism on the defensive end of the floor that have kept Allen in the league for such a long time. Obviously we have no idea at this point how much Allen has taught Franklin and how it will affect the rookie’s game, but it definitely seems like a positive sign that the two are working together.
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