SAN ANTONIO — O.J. Mayo is not going to apologize, OK? He's not going to apologize for that three-pointer he hit at the end of the first quarter in Game 1.
Yes, it's possible that the clock operator was a tad slow Sunday, that he didn't get the clock started soon enough, and that if he hadn't dithered for a full second Mayo's shot would have been too late.
But if anyone in that Memphis Grizzlies-San Antonio Spurs playoff game deserved a break, it's Mayo.
"It's unbelievable what he's been through," said Grizzlies teammate Mike Conley.
He's been benched, he's been punched, he's been suspended and he's been traded. His dad has been arrested and sent to jail.
And he lost his starting job to a rookie.
"If you had tried to imagine all the bad things that you could put in a season, I don't think you could have come up with the season that O.J. has had," said Marc Gasol.
Even the press sessions can be excruciating. Like Wednesday, Mayo was asked to rank his recent humiliations. Or to at least identify which was the absolutely most painful and/or ignominious:
Being told he had to try out for point guard during the summer league and then failing the tryout miserably?
Getting cut from the U.S. National Team?
Losing his job as a starter for the first time since he picked up a basketball?
Getting beaten up by teammate Tony Allen over a gambling debt?
Being suspended by the league for 10 games for using a banned substance?
Learning he'd been traded to Indiana?
Then learning the trade had fallen through?
The guy shouldn't even be in San Antonio. The Grizzlies tried their best to trade him to the Pacers for a draft pick and Josh McRoberts. If the same clock operator who had been working Sunday's game had been in charge of the clock at the NBA trade deadline, Mayo would be getting ready for a playoff game against the Bulls.
"It's surprising because you think that your team has traded you — and everything is good, no hard feelings — but then you tell me that we missed the deadline by three minutes so we need you to come back to work tomorrow," Mayo said.
At which point, Mayo would have been excused for throwing a tantrum. He took another approach.
"You've got to look in the mirror, wash your face and go to work tomorrow," he said. "You never want to bring controversy in the locker room saying, 'This stuff isn't right, they're doing me wrong,' So, you just want to go in and try to be the best man you can be."
So Mayo will continue to do his best for the franchise. It's an impressive thing to watch, if sometimes bittersweet.