Do You Believe In Something Greater Memphis?

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I’m going to start this article with a confession. I had never been to an NBA game before I moved to the city of Memphis. I had casually watched the sport on TV but had always defined myself as more of a football fan. I grew up enjoying the theatrics of Dennis Rodman, the awe inspiring skill of Jordan and the heart in my favorite player at the time, Muggsy Bogues. Sure I cheered for the Bulls and watched Space Jam on repeat but my sport’s heart never found its basketball home.

Then I moved to Memphis. Then I went to a Grizzlies game. Then I went to a playoff game, where I watched the No. 8 seed, who everyone had written off, take down the No. 1 seeded Spurs. Then I saw a team with heart, a team that worked hard, a team that played hard, a team that just didn’t give up. Then I fell in love with basketball and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Heading into this series I have read some mutterings from my fellow fans saying we need to be prepared for disappointment, that there’s a good chance we don’t walk away with a win. That maybe we should have tanked, should have sent the Spurs to the other side of the bracket with the Warriors. And to that I say “Shush yo Mouth!” I could ramble on and on about the numbers, point out that in truth I think the Grizzlies have the best shot of any team to take down the Warriors. I could make a decent case that the losses we suffered to this team at the end of the season could be thrown out and shouldn’t be used for comparison. I could go on and on about our ability to slow down the game and contain the Warriors shooting. Instead I’m just going to simply say that I believe.

I’m going to believe in a blue-collar team, from a blue-collar town, that plays with the heart of a champion. I’m going to believe in a team that possesses that intangible grit to win. I’m going to believe in a team that likes to prove that this small market has something big to say. I’m going to believe that my Grizzlies can do anything! Why? Well for starters, I’m a fan and that’s what a fan does. They cheer for their team, they rejoice for their team and they suffer for their team. Isn’t that what makes being a fan of this team so great? That we are surrounded by an incredible grouping of basketball fans, smart basketball fans, who also believe in their team?

Headed into this series I can’t help but throw myself back to 2011. When I fell in love with a team that makes Memphis greater. That’s the beauty of this team, they give us something to believe in. So my fellow Grizzlies fan, who’s ready to believe with me? Get your growl towels ready, put on that lucky jersey and let’s do this thing. Because we are what makes Greater Memphis.

Tabitha Smith

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