Málaga, SPAIN, 4 de October del 2007. After a 10-hour trip from Memphis to Malaga and a short break just to drop-off the suitcases at the hotel, the Grizzlies officially began their training camp with an intense two-hour practice in one of the Palacio de Deportes’ alternative gymnasiums.

“It was a practice to wake us up and for the players to get out of the hotel," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "After such a long trip, the best time to practice is as soon as possible so we can quickly adapt to the European schedule. The players must be tired at this time, but tomorrow we will already be more wide-awake and will notice the difference.”

The players started by warming up across the court. The coach then divided the team into two groups:

Group A:
Darko Milic, Pau Gasol, Hakim Warrick, Tarence Kinsey, and Brian Cardinal

Group B:
Juan Carlos Navarro, Mike Miller, Michael Conley, Rudy Gay, Damon Stoudemire, Stromile Swift, Andre Brown, Kyle Lowry and Casey Jacobsen.

Both groups worked plays of two-on-two and three-on-two, working on different types of screens and defensive blocks. Iavaroni himself was in charge of working the team’s tallest players by having more physical contact and participating in each play.

Soon they were divided into groups of five to practice fast breaks followed by free-throw shots. They also ran the court and made similar plays.

At the end of practice the team got divided yet again into several groups for 15 minutes of free-throw shooting.

“It has been a quite long practice especially after the long flight from Memphis," said Juan Carlos Navarro, who next to Mike Miller, was the last player to leave today’s training session. The pair of sharp shooters had an additional fifteen minutes of shooting from the three point line.

"We have not rested after arriving and the physical wear-down is starting to show," Navarro continued. "But that is why we have come here. That is how our days will be almost every day from now on. I am very happy to begin to feel the level of such challenging training that the NBA demands.”

For Pau Gasol this visit to Malaga is very different from when the Grizzlies faced his former Barcelona as part of the NBA Europe Games in 2003.

“In comparison to the last time that we came to Europe, I believe that now we are going to have more time to better prepare ourselves as we have a week long of training in Malaga," said the Spanish star. "I think that will do wonders for the group.”