I spent the weekend in Memphis for a long planned trip to the Beale Street Musical Festival and was treated to some NBA Playoff fever while there.
Memphis always has a great vibe but with the Grizzlies in the second round, Memphis has playoff fever. Massive banners on buildings all over town. Seems like every other person was wearing a Grizzlies shirt or jersey (and a surprisingly high number of Vancouver Grizzlies throwbacks). Every local band on Beale would talk Grizzlies during their sets and even some of the big bands at BSFM would mention the Grizzlies or Ja Morant – Sammy Hagar even put on a Grizzlies t-shirt during his set at BSFM and the Red Rocker usually only wears one of his alcohol brands.
Before day 3 of the music fest, Memphis hosted Golden State in game 1 of the second round. My hotel was a block from the FedEx Forum. I don’t know what time the pregame party started on Beale Street Sunday morning but it was full go when I got up for breakfa…let’s say early lunch.
I didn’t go to game 1 – maybe a first for me to be outside of a sporting event and not go in. Between the Grizzlies drum line going up and down Beale and the pregame concert/party at the arena – it was a blast. It made me jealous. I miss playoff basketball in San Antonio.
It has been 3 years. When I said that to my friend Ruben Garrido who has lived in Memphis almost 25 years, he said some things that I cannot type here and said, “you have 5 rings” – and what he would trade for one. He is right – we in San Antonio were so spoiled. Remember when we would save our ticket money for the Western Conference Finals or NBA Finals because it was a given that the first and second rounds were a formality.
Last year Milwaukee and Phoenix felt like SA in 1999 or the early 2000s. And that was from watching on TV. I got to re-live it a little this weekend in Memphis. It was fun and I can’t wait for San Antonio to catch playoff fever again – because I don’t think we would take it for granted again.
- Jason Minnix
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