Mexico City Basketball News: Exclusive
- By Paul Grant, Day 14, 2021
Mexico City Basketball News:
After spending the entire off season chasing an interview with (to put it politely) media reluctant Mexico City Jaguars GM Paul Grant we finally arranged a time to sit with him for an expansive review of the teams’ progress under his short reign.
As GM Grant welcomed me into his office the first thing I noticed was the 100’s of spreadsheets, graphs, diagrams on the walls, player profiles, CD’s covering his entire desk and a strange coin sitting in the only paper free space. I opened with the obvious question, “is there any story behind that coin”, He answered “I agree to interviews when it comes up Heads and amazingly there have been 153 Tails in a row.”
I had a long list of questions but GM Grant in his usual understated manner began the conversation.
“When I took over as GM on my very first day I lost Banks in FA that was just shattering as he would have been the main man but he left and then I believe he got traded and now he has found a good home for himself. I’m happy for him.”
“I had to move quickly and signed Ashley Winters on a multiyear deal and he has grabbed the starting PG position with both hands and not even the outstanding and future superstar Adams has been able to take it from him. He has 60 assists and only 3 Turnovers across the 4 games to start this season, amazing”
“Martin, Hooker and Odiambo have made giant improvements in the off season with Martin leading the way, forcing Hooker to hit the weight room where he has bulked up impressively to take on the JBL Monster big men.”
“Vega and Adams are young but are exceptional talents. It’s a balancing act letting them have the confidence and freedom to lead the offense but also play under control and take a few less low percentage shots.
“In the past 4 season since our last playoff run we have only won 35% of our games and the fans rightly so have become increasing frustrated but throughout last season you could sense a change in the air, we only won 18 games but we defeated some high calibre teams but unfortunately we ended the season winning only 5 of the last 25 games.”
“Mid-way through last season we traded Rogers to the Tritons and brought in a much younger Aikeem Martin who was sensational for the Jags putting up career numbers but more importantly he was vocal in the locker room and pressing for a much greater effort and this hit home hard as Hooker, Vega, Adams and Winters worked tirelessly with our Coaches and you could see the confidence growing in their game throughout the preseason.”
“We lost Rice who may have been the most talented player on our roster but unfortunately with that amazing talent came an amazing ego and he demanded to be traded. Fans are probably correct that we should have got a little bit more in return but as GM I will always go for a win/win situation and teams will remember that in future dealing.”
“The average age of our roster is lower than most expansion teams including the Lumberjacks who have 8 first year draft picks. We have 2 starters that are still teenagers and we have these players locked away for 2-3 more seasons and with money to retain them and with 5 first round draft picks over the next 2 years we will add the necessary pieces for a legitimate and sustained run at titles in the next 2 years and beyond.”
“As a new GM I need to learn to be patient and let the coaches, coach and the players, play and remember with the level of young talent on hand it will take time and games will be lost with basic errors but my job is to scout the world for the next superstar.”
“Throughout the preseason we worked extremely hard on defense and are trying to become the hardest team to play against. On offense we are looking for a balanced and unselfish attack. Everybody in the locker room is happy and that in its self will bring wins.”
I thanked GM Grant for the easiest interview I’ve had to do and left his office thinking with Grant at the reigns the Jaguars will be a true force but before I took another step GM Grant shouted “I feel another 153 Tails coming up.”
So with that I felt an extra sense of pride and excitement to have got this very rare interview.