Former Kansas University combo guard Josh Selby met with Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins and several team executives before addressing the media Friday afternoon at FedExForum.
According to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, the Grizzlies’ second-round draft pick was lectured about “the need for his maturity to match his talent.”
“He says he’s not cocky. Well, I beg to differ,” Grizzlies assistant general manager Kenny Williamson told the Commercial-Appeal. “All players have egos. It’s how you carry it. And maybe he carried it a little differently. But right now, after talking to him, he’s been humbled.”
Noted coach Hollins: “He just has to come in and play to his talent level. If he plays to his ranking out of high school, he’ll make the team. But he obviously has to bring it from an off-the-court perspective. He may be immature, but if he’s willing to work and grow, I’ll have no problem. We’re about professionalism and about playing hard. He doesn’t seem like a guy who doesn’t compete. That won’t be an issue.”
Selby, who missed the first nine games of the 2010-11 season because of an NCAA suspension and later was slowed by a foot injury en route to averaging 7.9 points and 2.2 assists per game, told the Baltimore Sun he was “very surprised” to have been taken by Memphis at No. 49 overall.
“I didn’t have any contact with them (before draft),” said Selby.
As to why Selby waited so long for his name to be called, there were rumors that he had not fully recovered from the foot injury he sustained at KU and also possibly had weak knees to go with character concerns.
“I don’t know what happened, and I don’t really know why I slipped so far,” Selby told his hometown Baltimore Sun. “I don’t really want to get into that anymore. I was just happy to have my name called, and now I’m just going to make the best of my situation.”
Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace said KU coach Bill Self gave Selby a glowing recommendation, while Grizzlies team doctors said the 6-3 guard is completely healthy.
Former NBA player/Baltimore native Sam Cassell, who played for assistant GM Williamson at Florida State, also spoke highly of Selby to Grizzlies officials.
“Sam believes he’s a good kid, and that he’s a gym rat,” Williamson told the Sun. “He believes Josh will come in here and work. I trust Sam, so until he proves otherwise, that’s what I’m going to go with. Perception is a heck of a thing. You know how they say possession is 9/10ths of the law? Well, perception is 9/10ths of reality. I believe the kid has been miscast.”
Jayhawks on Grizzlies: Selby joins former KU players Darrell Arthur and Xavier Henry on the Grizzlies’ roster. The Baltimore Sun also points out the Memphis team has a distinctive Maryland flavor. Rudy Gay, like Selby, is a native of Baltimore. Greivis Vasquez played four years at Maryland, while Sam Young won two Maryland state championships at Friendly High in Prince George’s County.
Marcus compares himself to Melo: The Houston Chronicle mentioned Saturday that Rockets’ first-round draft pick Marcus Morris of KU has compared himself to New York Knicks’ phenom Carmelo Anthony, “because I’m a midrange king.”
On Friday at his introductory news conference, Morris cracked: “I’m not going to take after him on the defensive side.”
Hearing that, new Rockets coach Kevin McHale warned Morris: “They have TVs all over,” the implication that Anthony might hear the rookie's comments about his defense on the tube.
Markieff on his shooting range: The Arizona Republic newspaper on Saturday pointed out that first-round Phoenix Suns draft pick Markieff Morris of KU hit 25 of 59 threes last season, not bad for a 6-foot-10 player.
“I had to change my shot a little bit,” Morris told the paper. “I had to shoot higher, I (had been) shooting more direct. And I was just getting older and having the green light to shoot the three.”
Asked about his toughness, Morris credited mom, Angel.
“She made me tough,” Markieff told the paper. “Growing up in Philly, it was tough, and that’s one thing I’ll always remember, where I’m from.”