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27 Teams In 27 Days: Meet The Memphis Hustle

By Jake Winderman | September 4, 2018

Team: Memphis Hustle

First Season: 2017-2018

Affiliate: Memphis Grizzlies

Location: Southaven, Mississippi

Arena: Landers Center

Head Coach: Brad Jones

2017-2018 Finish: 21-29 (4th in Midwest)

2018 NBA G League 1st Round Pick(s): 6th

Current Two-Way Players: Yuta Watanabe (George Washington)

Notable Alumni: Ben McLemore, Wayne Selden, Jarell Martin, Brice Johnson, Deyonta Davis, Vincent Hunter, Ivan Rabb, Kobi Simmons, Jordan Crawford, Shaq Thomas, Omari Johnson, Marquis Teague

In January of 2017, the Memphis Grizzlies announced that they had acquired an expansion NBA G League franchise that would play in the Mid-South/Memphis area. Five months later, the Grizzlies announced that the team would be known as the “Hustle,” which according to the franchise, “encapsulates the idea of hard work and persistence, a true nod to the grit and grind culture of the city, the region and its enthusiastic and loyal fan base.” The Memphis Hustle joined the NBA G League during the 2017-2018 season along with three other expansion teams (the Agua Caliente Clippers, Erie BayHawks and Wisconsin Herd).

In their first season, the Hustle went 21-29, playing in the Midwest Division along with the Oklahoma City Blue, Sioux Falls Skyforce and Iowa Wolves. Memphis averaged the sixth-most rebounds per game, seventh-most points per game and eigth-most assists per game of any team in the NBA G League. Marquis Teague led all qualified players with 17.6 points and 6.2 assists per game. Ivan Rabb dominated the boards, posting a team-leading 9.4 rebounds per game.

The Hustle are the first NBA G League team to call Mississippi their home. Landers Center and the FedEx Forum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies, are just 17.5 miles away from each other, allowing easy access between player personnel from both franchises. Last season, the Hustle had two NBA Call-Ups in Marquis Teague and Omari Johnson.

This season, Brad Jones will take over as head coach of the Memphis Hustle. Jones won the 2012 NBA G League title with the Austin Toros (Spurs) in 2012 and had 12 NBA Call-Ups during his two seasons as head coach in Austin. In five seasons as a a G League head coach with the Utah Flash and Austin Toros, Jones is 148-118 (.556).

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