Málaga, SPAIN, 5 de October del 2007. The Grizzlies’ second practice in Malaga began with the same routine as the first one: warm-up, defensive plays and screens.

Soon enough they began to play five-on-five with physical contact. The first one harmed was Hakim Warrick, who while trying to block a three-pointer from Kyle Lowry fell onto one of his teammates and injured his knee a bit.

One of the most charismatic and energetic players was Mike Miller. Grizzlies’ number 33 did not stop making jokes, shouting each play from the top of his lungs and motivating all of his teammates. “That is what practices are for,” said Miller. “I try to cheer everyone with the purpose to strengthen our chemistry prior to our first game. This it is the right moment to improve this team.”

As the five-on-five games were going on, Iavaroni put together a team that could well be the starting line-up with Gasol, Miller, Stoudemire, R. Gay and Warrick. From time to time, Milicic and rookie Conely assumed Warric’s and Stoudemire’s rolls in court, respectively.

The practice finished with free-throw shootings and then a visit from more than 30 local journalists who had the first contact with the players and coaching staff since the team’s arrival in Malaga.

Pau Gasol, as expected, was the player more sought after by the press in the Palacio de Deportes. The Spanish player answered media questions for more than 20 minutes.

Below are some of the player’s thoughts after their second practice:

Mike Miller
Thanks to summer trainings and games that I played with the United States’ national team, I am now in the best physical shape to start training with the Grizzlies. Currently, we have a very different team than last season’s; we have new players and a new coach. This trip is very important to find our new team’s chemistry.

Michael Conley
I believe that after such a long trip from Memphis, the transition to the European time has been fast. This is my first time in Europe, so I really anticipated this trip. I hope to walk around and get to know Malaga. Pau will be a good tour guide for all of us.

Damon Stoudamire
This is going to be a great experience for the team. I believe that it will be very fun as the days go by. I feel that by being a multicultural team, it brings a different dimension to our squad. Personally I feel very happy to be here with the Grizzlies. I now feel in the best physical and mental state of the last two years when I had to overcome several injuries.

Marc Iavaroni
I feel a special affection for the city of Malaga. I have very good memories of when I played here. The fans were incredible and knew a lot about basketball. My coach Mario Pesquera, to whom I have great respect for, was always a great coach. I own much of my basketball foundations to him.