Rudy Gay Ready To Break Out

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — When you produce at the level Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay has on a nightly basis over the course of the past five seasons, the idea that Gay could be poised for a breakout season in the sixth year of his ascent might strike some people as a little strange.

But that’s exactly what Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins is expecting from the mercurial talent as he enters his seventh season in the league; Gay started 43 games his rookie season but didn’t move into the starting lineup until his second season.

Since Gay plays for our adopted team here at the hideout, we’re a bit biased. We’ve been huge proponents of his for years, dating to the 2007-08 season when he averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and showed off the talent that led many to rank him as the No. 1 prospect heading into his final college season at UConn.

His talent was undeniable then. It was strictly a matter of whether or not he could be a consistent force. And he proved that in the following seasons, even if he was overshadowed a bit by Zach Randolph and now Marc Gasol in Memphis.

But apparently, the word on Rudy is spreading with the monster training camp Gay is working on (more from Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal):

Hollins is often asked by national media about his core players, and Rudy Gay’s development continues to be a big topic. Gay, who is entering his seventh NBA season, is having arguably his best training camp.

Before the Griz took on the Houston Rockets, Hollins sounded as if he’s bracing for a breakout campaign from his 6-8 starting small forward.

“He’s having an outstanding camp,” Hollins said. “It he continues to play like this he’s going to have one of those years where everybody says ‘Wow. This is what I thought he could be.’ ”

Hollins and teammates continue to be impressed by Gay’s improved playmaking though point guard Mike Conley is right with Gay in terms of consistency throughout camp.

There is already plenty of “Wow” factor in Gay’s game. Few players in the league are as consistently exciting as Gay in transition. And he’s a proven big-game performer, a guy who is willing and able to take and make shots to decide games … like he did against LeBron James and the Heat here.

But if he’s ready for a true breakout season, that has to include pushing for the All-Star berth that we felt he should have gotten consideration for last season.

Granted, on a team that will have both Randolph and Gasol as the first two options and Conley coming into his own as well, there will be a crowd at the front of the line.

Gay should be ready, though. He’s been ready for a while.


  1. NBAfan says:

    Rudy Gay….you gotta be a leader by example. You have a very solid team around you and I think you want to win over any all-star dreams you may have…it’s good to be a teammate, but you need to FINALLY be the UNDISPUTED LEADER of the Grizzlies

    whether you know it or not, you ARE the best player in your team it’s not even a question, so take what’s rightfully yours and BE the best team for the Grizzlies each and every night….82 games…one game at a time…lets talk playoffs when the season ends…

  2. Average Joe says:

    If he’ll turn into an All-star this year, then it’s been a long time coming. Always been a fan of his game, but he needs to put in the extra work to be consistent on both ends of the floor. Could be a top 5 SF because of his versatility and ability to finish strong on the break.

  3. Alex says:

    been a fan of his game for a while, definitely gonna be in all star talks this year.

  4. charles says:

    Gasol, Randolph, Gay, Conley and Tony Allen. That is an impressive starting five. Now you add Tony Wroten, Jerry Bayless, Marreese Speights and Quincy Pondexter on the bench. You have a solid team. The kindling is in place and the match is in the hands of Mike conley. If he takes a significant jump in performance they are a top four team in this league. Gay, Randolph and Gasol are simply too talented of a force – but they need a superb distribute and someone who can cut through the defense of their opponents with speed.

  5. Medevenx says:

    cmon what is up with this title

  6. Karlo Garcia says:

    Should b an all star this year!

  7. amitpal says:

    With his size and talent rudy gay should be a superstsr type of player. People r ok with him averageing 20 points when he can easily average 26. If he ever worked hard on his game he could have been better then lebron. But its the work ethic that separates the all stars from the superstars

    • marco says:

      if he worked hard he would`ve have been better then lebron are u smoking crack.. u should say if he worked harder he would`ve have been a top 5 SF behind lebron , KD and others.. better then lebron SMH

    • NBAfan says:

      I’m a big Rudy Gay fan and yes, he has TONNES of potential and should be better than what he has done so far in my opinion, but I do think he works on his game and is hungry…

      I don’t think he can be better than lebron OVERALL, but I think Rudy can be a better SCORER than Lebron…but not a better scorer than Durant…he can be a better overall player than Durant though.

      So just talking about Potential, I think he can be in the top 3…discussed with Lebron and Durant…but yeah..Gay is an all-star at best…a semi-superstar..but not at the same Level as LBJ…and I’m not an LBJ fan..

      anyway….LBJ still needs to chase Duncan and Kobe before we talk MJ/Larry/Magic…..