When a coach sits down for a postgame press conference and says, “Saddle up,” you know you’re in for an epic rant.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins delivered. A season of frustration boiled over after a loss to the Jazz that dropped Memphis 1-8 on the season (and 0-2 in the In-Season Tournament, although that is the last of his concerns). Jenkins was mad at the officiating in a game where the Jazz went to the free throw line 29 times to the Grizzlies 13, Jaren Jackson Jr. was ejected with two quick technicals after a no-call — where he was clearly fouled — and Marcus Smart fouled out late in the game.
Saddle up, here are Jenkins’ postgame comments after “Saddle up.”
“One of the most poorly officiated games I’ve ever seen. Record it. I’m fine with it. F****** atrocious. [Jackson Jr.] plays 23 minutes, and is in the paint all night. He’s one of the most professional players in this league and gets a double technical foul, and the excuse I get is that he’s charging at an official. It’s called de-escalation.
“Twenty-nine free throws to 13, and I’m not that coach. You go back in history, I’ve done this one other time. Our team is competing their asses off — competing their asses off. And this is what happens? The interactions right now with the officials? Complete disrespect. I know what’s coming. It’s unbelievable, the looks on the faces while I’m trying to engage in conversation to defend our guys that are busting their tail right now — busting their tail.
“Jaren Jackson’s one of the most professional guys, and if you go watch the play, two possessions in a row he gets hacked underneath the basket, zero free throw attempts. I’m not trying to put a name on a jersey, this guy should earn these fouls, all that stuff. Watch the game. Twenty-nine free throws to basically, like, there was seven, and then at the end of the game a few more added. I don’t understand it when guys are competing their tails off….
“Again I go back to the interactions. Stern. Nothing. Stonewalled. Ignoring. Then you wonder why our guys are trying to compete. I don’t get it. I look forward to watching the tape, getting responses when I send clips in, all that stuff, to see what should have happened. And you wonder why. I haven’t done this most of my career, all that stuff, but I gotta defend my guys that are competing their tail off. And we’re not trying to lose our heads. We’re trying to go out and win basketball games and trying to play better. It’s as simple as that. We’re trying to play better. We’re trying to play better.”
That’s not a standard $25,000 fine rant, Jenkins will pay a little extra for that one.
We’ll see if it lights a fire under a team that is digging an early hole that may be very difficult to climb out of in a deep West.