Jen Clarke

Content + Strategy + Social

Farewell, Grit ‘n’ Grind

Writing

On the end of an era in Memphis basketball.

Zach Randolph, the basketball player, made the Grizzlies relevant. Then Tony Allen, the basketball player, made them fun. Together, as people, they made them relatable. We knew in our minds a day would come when Memphis, the community, would need them as people more than the Grizzlies needed them as players on the court. We knew one day they’d decide their bodies had given enough to the grind of training camps and ice baths, media avails, and six months on the road. We hoped in our hearts the dates would align. It’s more than basketball, until it’s only basketball, and you realize you’ve invested too much emotional capital in some dudes who chase a ball around. They tried to prepare us, but some data is just too painful to take. Such is life in a one-sport town.