by Kevin Lipe
Anagrams are fun. You rearrange the letters in somebody’s name to spell words with them. KEVIN LIPE, for example, can become EVE LINK PI or PIKE LIVEN. I decided to see what the letters in the names of Grizzlies players spell, and to my surprise, they all reveal various hidden secrets about how those players are going to do this year. I’m not claiming to be clairvoyant; I am, however, claiming that discovering the predictive qualities of anagrams makes me a genius, and more deserving of a Nobel Prize than Bob Dylan, whoever that is.
Journey with me now, as I reveal to you the 2016-17 Grizzlies season, as told by the players’ names.
Mike Conley, Jr.: JOCK MINE RELY, ONCE JERKY MIL
Conley is a professional athlete so that covers JOCK. The Grizzlies will RELY on him in the 2016-17 season, just like always. As for ONCE JERKY MIL, people used to be jerks to Conley when he was a young player and wasn’t very good, but he’s signed a deal for more than a hundred million dollars.
Marc Gasol: CARGO SLAM, ARCS AM LOG
Gasol’s on-the-mend right foot is precious CARGO, and he will deliver a record number of SLAM dunks this season. Also, he will LOG lots of shots from beyond the ARCS, and anagrams aren’t great at conjugating “to be.”
Tony Allen: ANNOY TELL, LA NET ONLY
Tony Allen will ANNOY players he’s defending by TELLing them (reminding them, really) that he’s “First Team All-Defense”, and whenever he takes a shot, it will (pardon my French) ONLY find LA NET.
Zach Randolph: RANCH ZAP HOLD
This was the only anagram I could find for “Zach Randolph” and I didn’t feel like expanding it to “Zachary” was fair. I have no idea what this means. If this were a Magic 8 Ball, this would be “Reply Hazy Try Again” except on every side of the little floating icosahedron.
Chandler Parsons: CARNAL NERD SHOPS, PASCAL REND HORNS, RANCHER SPAN OLDS
Lot to work with here. Parsons is notoriously popular with the ladies so I don’t think I should expand on CARNAL NERD SHOPS in a family publication. PASCAL is famous for his wager about the existence of God, so maybe philosophical disagreements will REND the Grizzlies’ ability to properly run HORNS sets. Parsons last played for two teams in Texas (hence RANCHER) and he will SPAN the gap in talent now that the Grizzlies’ OLDS are taking a smaller role. All of this assumes he recovers from injury in time. The anagrams were unclear about that.
Wade Baldwin IV: A DAWN VIBE WILD, WAIVED AWL BIND
It’s the DAWN of Baldwin’s career, and while we’ve gotten good VIBEs he’s still a little WILD. WAIVED AWL BIND is an ominous portent, but maybe hints that he’ll tie up the backup PG spot with his sharp play and will force some other guards to the D-League. Could also mean he’s going to get cut from the team and take up leather-related arts and crafts.
Andrew Harrison: ARENA DONS WHIRR, RWANDA SHINER OR
Harrison’s play has ARENA DONS WHIRRing about whether he’ll make the Grizzlies’ final 15-man roster or not, because he’ll probably land on some other NBA team if he doesn’t. As for RWANDA SHINER OR, I have no idea. What is this, a Ouija board?
JaMychal Green: CHANGE JAM RELY
JaMychal Green’s insertion into the starting lineup is a CHANGE that will inspire some righteous JAMS on which the Grizzlies can RELY if he can stay out of foul trouble.
Jarell Martin: ARM RAN JET ILL
Martin’s second season should be an important time for his development. He’s got loads of raw talent that hasn’t quite congealed into something usable on a night-in, night-out basis yet. But if he can get it together his ILL hoops skills will JET him into the rotation where he can… I don’t know, RAN some ARMs. This is harder than I thought it would be.
Vince Carter: ACCENT RIVER
Memphis sits on the Mississippi RIVER and Vince Carter is a nice ACCENT piece to have in the wing rotation. Hopefully the Grizzlies’ situation is such that he only has to be an accent piece and not a major player, because at this point in his career he’s not a guy you want to play 35 minutes a night.
Brandan Wright: BRANDING WRATH, BARN DRAW NIGHT, NAB DRAWN GIRTH
The Grizzlies’ change of their BRANDING to Grind City has drawn the WRATH of some who were perfectly fine with Bluff City thank you very much, and that has nothing to do with Brandan Wright at all, but maybe on game NIGHTs they’re hoping it will DRAW people to their BARN to watch basketball. Meanwhile, Wright’s NABbed a position in the backup frontcourt with Zach Randolph which will allow him to DRAWN (sic) the defensive assignment with the most GIRTH so that Randolph doesn’t have to defend the primary big. Playing those two as a unit makes a lot of sense. I could digress into a million GIRTH jokes but I don’t have time for that today.
James Ennis: NINJA SEEMS, JAMS SEEN IN
Ennis had some JAMS that were SEEN IN Miami last year before he was traded to the Grizzlies and Dave Joerger didn’t let him play, but now that Fizdale is in charge Ennis SEEMS to have snuck into the starting lineup like a NINJA and, to be honest, looks like he’s definitely talented enough to be a rotation-quality NBA player, and a worthwhile pickup for the Grizzlies. Who knows where is ceiling is. He’s certainly got a pretty well-rounded skill set.
Troy Daniels: DENIAL STORY, A TRENDY SILO, STALED IRONY
Fizdale said he hasn’t played Troy Daniels much in preseason because he already knows what kind of player he is, but it’s yet to be determined whether that’s a DENIAL STORY or the truth. If he plays to his peak, Daniels could be A TRENDY SILO of 3-point shooting. If he plays as well in real life as he does in the preseason, he could be another installment of the STALED IRONY of the Grizzlies’ search for outside shooting help.
Troy Williams: MILITARY OWLS, WARMLY I TOILS, MAYO ILL WRIST
First things first: if the letters in my name spelled MILITARY OWLS that’s what I would change my name to, no questions asked. Williams is a hard-working guy (WARMLY he TOILS) and has gotten the attention of a lot of Grizzlies observers, and is definitely in the discussion for “camp guy who might actually make the team this year.” Also OJ MAYO had an ILL WRIST which was why he could score so much as a rookie. Miss U, 2008 OJ.
DJ Stephens: (no anagrams found)
DJ Stephens might actually be from The Upside Down. Explains a lot when you think about it.
Vince Hunter: CHIN VENTURE
The Grizzlies took one on the CHIN with injuries during camp so they VENTUREd to sign Hunter to soak up some minutes. He’s raw, and very undeveloped, but he’s got some real skill. He’ll stick somewhere, eventually.
Wayne Selden: LAWN SEND EYE
They have lots of LAWNs in Des Moines where the Grizzlies will probably try to SEND Selden so they can keep an EYE on his development.