Saturday, April 30, 2011
Tonight changed Memphis sports history
Photo Credit: Nikki Boertman - CA
It should be Z-Bo up there, because he saved us. Despite leading for almost the entire game, there we were down one, 80-79, with more than four minutes to go. Zach Randolph took over, scoring 13 of our final 20 points and leading the Grizzlies to their first-ever series win with a 99-91 victory over the #1 seeded San Antonio Spurs tonight at the FedExForum before a screaming sellout crowd.
How appropriate it was that, in the toughest moment, Z-Bo put this team on his back. Randolph, who had a checkered history, has rebuilt his reputation in Memphis b y being a model citizen off the court and the team's leader on it. Along with youngsters like Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and OJ Mayo, and fellow vets Tony Allen (pictured above) and the return of former hero Shane Battier, the Grizzlies have won over the city.
I have had the great fortune to have attended this city's premier sporting events over the years, including the U of M's 21-17 football victory in 1996 and Albert Pujols' PCL-winning home run in 2000, but I have to say that tonight may have topped them all, and it was very, very special.
Next up for the Grizz is the Northwest Division champion Oklahoma City Thunder, against whom we had a 3-1 regular season record. Game 1 comes Sunday at noon on ABC24 and WRBO-FM 103.5. Tickets for Games 3 and 4 in Memphis go on sale to the general public Sunday morning, see Grizzlies.com for details. UPDATE: Game 3 is Saturday, May 7 at 4 PM (which means I can't attend due to prior commitments) and Game 4 is Monday, May 9 at 8:30 P.M.