Memphis Grizzlies are hosting media day: Live updates on Ja Morant, more

The Memphis Grizzlies, and the NBA's other teams are hosting media day Monday, signaling the return of pro basketball on the horizon at FedExForum.

General manger Zachary Kleiman, coach Taylor Jenkins and most Grizzlies players, including Ja Morant, are expected to speak.

Memphis is coming off one of the best seasons in franchise history, winning 56 games and advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals. This season's team is headlined by All-Star point guard Ja Morant, first-team All-Defense member Jaren Jackson Jr., who is injured, and many other players who are among the least best at their skill sets. Desmond Bane is one of the NBA's top shooters, Steven Adams broke the Grizzlies' offensive rebounding record and Dillon Brooks is one of the biggest defensive pests among wings in the league.

The Grizzlies drafted four players and added one of the top undrafted players. With Jackson expected to miss some time at the beginning of the season, those young players could be expected to step up early.

Many questions await this new team that's facing sky-high expectations.

Memphis Grizzlies' NBA media day: Live updates on Ja Morant, the team and more

Ja Morant not commenting on potential signature shoe deal with Nike

Jaren Jackson on Klay Thompson's NBA Finals comments

Jaren Jackson's tweet after a Grizzlies win over the Warriors in March is still making headlines.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson mentioned "strength in numbers", a Warriors team motto which Jackson played off of in March, in a response to a media question after the Warriors' title-clinching Game 6 victory over the Celtics in June. It inadvertently reminded him of Jackson's tweet.

"It pissed me off so much)," Thompson said in June. "I can't wait to retweet that thing. Freakin' bum."

"The memory just popped (into my head). You gonna mock us? You ain't never been there before, bruh. ... Twitter fingers. Can you believe that?"

Jackson said he was in Italy and wasn't able to respond in a timely manner to Thompson's comments. Ja Morant did, tweeting out "got a lot of real estate" in response. Including the ongoing social media feud, the intense playoff series last spring and the quality of the two teams, the Warriors and Grizzlies have built a rivalry. The two teams will play on Christmas Day.

“It’s just a good example of how your teammates have your back," Jackson said Monday. "You see 12 had my back, and now we’re playing on Christmas.”

Jaren Jackson Jr. wants to win Defensive Player of the Year

Jaren Jackson Jr. did not win the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year despite a solid case, finishing fifth in voting. This year, Jackson's odds per Vegas Insider are tied for 14th best (+2800), alongside Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen. Those odds are likely swayed by Jackson's foot injury during the offseason, but it won't change his desire to win the award this season.

“I want it badly," Jackson said Monday.

Jackson also said that he is "probably not" going to be available for the first game of the season, on Oct. 19 against the Knicks. That is just inside of four months after his right foot surgery.

Taylor Jenkins shrugs off outside talk of expectations

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins acknowledges that outside expectations may be different coming into the 2022-23 season compared to even last year. Internally, Jenkins wants to stick to the process.

"Obviously, a heckuva season last year," Jenkins said Monday. "People are going to throw out there expectations on win-loss, rankings and championships, division titles, all that stuff. We're truly motivated one day at a time because we know the journey starts today."

"...Our tune is not going to really change in terms of the way we operate."

Kleiman: 'Danny Green is a part of this group'

GM Zach Kleiman: Jaren Jackson Jr. is on pace with his recovery from foot surgery

First up is Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman, who says that Jaren Jackson Jr. is on schedule in progressing on recovery from his foot injury suffered while training in the offseason.

If you recall, the Grizzlies announced on June 30 that Jackson had surgery on his right foot to address a stress fracture. The original timeline for Jackson's recovery was four-to-six months, which would land anywhere from Halloween to the start of 2023. Kleiman, on Monday, did not specify any details on his return timetable.

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This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis Grizzlies NBA media day 2022: Live updates on Ja Morant, more