Even after a series loss to the Golden State Warriors, Ja Morant wasn't bleak when speaking about his long-term future in Memphis. In exit interviews Sunday afternoon, the young star happily confirmed his loyalty to the team and was quick to call the city "home":
"I’m definitely happy to be here. Memphis is my home. If your [question] is do I want to be in Memphis? Hell yea!”
Morant, 22, has emerged as one of the best point guards in baseball. As an explosive scorer and fierce competitor, he's got the skills to go against the best of them. More importantly, Morant's ascension has led an inexperienced Grizzlies team to prosperity in the Western Conference — a team so good, that not even Steph Curry could avoid giving some credit:
"I have a lot of respect for every single guy on that team in terms of how they're built as a group, individual talent," said Steph. "They have a lot of energy, a lot of potential in terms of winning at the highest level. They were the higher seed for a reason, they had an amazing regular season and dominated over the course of the 82 games... There's definitely respect, there's definitely an understanding that they made us better, I'm sure we've made them better. Who knows what happens down the road, but they'll be here for a long time just because they have a lot going on for them. Definitely respect."
Led by Morant, the Grizzlies charged through the season with astonishing strength and proved their legitimacy with a first-round win over the Timberwolves. Unfortunately, the season is now over for Memphis, and it's back to the drawing board for GM Zach Kleiman. But as long as Ja sticks around long-term, the franchise will always have a strong base. Just knowing he's in it for the long haul puts them in a favorable position moving forward.