On a night when Conley struggled for the Utah Jazz, making only 5 of his 19 shots from the floor, Morant starred. Morant, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft, had 25 points and eight assists in Memphis’ 107-106 victory, hitting a floater that put the Grizzlies up for good with 1 minute, 32 seconds remaining. Several of Conley’s former teammates lined up after the game to express their appreciation for him. Morant also shared a moment with Conley, whose 12-year run as the Grizzlies’ point guard essentially ended when Memphis got lucky enough to move up six spots in the lottery to land Morant and officially was over when the Jazz traded for him before free agency. “I just told him, ‘I love your game. Just keep working. You’re a special player. You’re going to be here a long time,'” Conley told ESPN.
No, Conley never reached the mountain top that is an NBA championship. It’s one of the reasons the Grizzlies moved on from the era. But, you can’t mention the city of Memphis and not think of Conley and what he’s meant to a community for a generation. “It’s going to be tough because there are going to be so many emotions,” Conley told The Athletic. “And then, I’m going to have to find a way to try and play a basketball game.”
In the locker room, Conley was one of the best teammates in the league. A big reason why the Jazz were so successful in free agency — signing Bojan Bogdanovic, Jeff Green and Ed Davis — was because they all wanted to play with Conley. Green and Davis were teammates with Conley in Memphis. Bogdanovic wanted to play with a guy of Conley’s playmaking ability. “He taught us a lot,” Memphis small forward Dillon Brooks said. “He was quiet at first. But then, when you get to know him, he opens up to you. He taught us how to prepare for games, how to stretch. He told us every single game was a learning experience. He has so much knowledge from being in the league.”