Memphis Grizzlies point guard, Ja Morant is lighting up NBA stats like a Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in NYC.
A rookie out of Murray State, Morant is currently averaging 17.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists for the eight seeded Memphis Grizzlies.
Morant isn’t doing it by himself though. He’s got a supporting cast of guys like Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks Jonas Valančiūnas and more.
What’s their secret?
Hard nose play.
I recently caught up with Memphis Grizzlies guard, Kyle Anderson who tells me what their season has been like. He also tells me that Ja Morant reminds him of a young version of Portland Trail Blazers point guard, Damian Lillard .
Check out our Q&A below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You’re playing for a Memphis team that many people in the Western Conference may have not thought you guys were in this position. You come from an experience in San Antonio with a lot of stoic, maturity and all that stuff that goes with San Antonio. For you, how cool was it to be on a team where it’s a bunch of young folks and you guys are playing well and you are the 8th seed?
Kyle Anderson: It’s great! You know being around a bunch of dudes that want to get better, great teammates, that’s the special thing about ‘em…it starts off the court with that. We’ve got a good group of guys who buy in and want to get better and want to work with each other so it’s been pretty cool.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Does it motivate you that people have overlooked you going into the season?
Kyle Anderson: I don’t really focus on what people think about us during the season or what writers are talking about, or what this guy is talking about, it doesn’t really concern me. I just show up, try to get better, things like that.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson [Jr.] are definitely the faces of the team. You guys are a collective core group of guys that just play your tails off. When you watch him this season, and you see how he played in the NCAA Tournament, what has surprised you from college to now?
Kyle Anderson: Just his basketball IQ. He has a lot of talent. A lot of kids come in with talent, a lot of kids come in ready to go, but his IQ and poise as rookie is very impressive so I was blown away by that.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: From your experience playing with the Spurs, is there anybody that he reminds you of?
Kyle Anderson: Naw I mean like you said there’s been a lot of —- are you talking about in the league or overall?… Not sure, maybe weird but this kind of floats around in my brain but he kind of reminds me of Damian Lillard when Dame first came into the league. That’s just my comparison, but I might be wrong. Somebody might think I’m crazy but he reminds me of Dame.