MEMPHIS, TN – APRIL 20: Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates against the San Antonio Spurs in game three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 20, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Being underrated in the NBA is unlike being underrated in any other sport. When you’re a player like Mike Conley, who is one of the better point guards in the game, there isn’t much appreciation. He isn’t in a huge market and it hurts his marketability. Signing a $150 million dollar contract though offsets any pain he may have.

Or maybe, some recognition from one of the greatest living rappers is more his speed.

Conley during Memphis Grizzlies media day told a story about a late-night phone call he received from Kanye West. West wanted to give Conley a pep talk and let him know that he was appreciated.

Here is Conley relaying the story for the media:

12:30 at night and I was just like, “Hello.” And he was like, “Yeah, this is ‘Ye.” I kinda just kept trying to put it together. Long story short: He was just like, “Man, come out to L.A. whenever you’re out in L.A. and we’ll get together.”

[He said], “I just want to let you know that I admire you. I really like what you do. I hate to see that you’re underrated.” Just going through these things like he actually watches me play. That’s what I was thinking in my head, “He knows a lot about me.” He wasn’t reading off a paper or anything. He was just like, “Man, I just think that you can be up here, and they just don’t see you like that.” I was just like, “Man, I 100 percent—I’m with you. I understand. What can we do? Help me.”

West reaching out may seem weird but it looks to have given Conley a little bit of a bump. He was excited about the phone call and wanted to be an even better basketball player afterward. Who could’ve guessed that a phone call from Kanye West is the motivation you need to be a better player?


About Sam Blazer

Sam is a self proclaimed chess prodigy. He once placed seventh in the state of Ohio in Chess when he was in kindergarten. He will rarely if ever mention though that only eight people were entered in this tournament. Contact him at