After winning all 8 preseason games, the Memphis Grizzlies lost the first game of the regular season to the Atlanta Hawks 104-119. This is the Memphis Grizzlies 10th season and they celebrated in pure Memphis style with performances by Al Kapone and the Memphis Symphony, the Barkays and Booker T Jones and Lil P-Nut. There were also appearances by the Grizzlies Granpas and Grannies, the Beale Street Flippers and Super Grizz.
For the second straight season, I bought Grizzlies season tickets. I parked in my same parking lot on Linden between 2nd and 3rd, which is $10 (my ticket to the game is also $10). I arrived at FedEx Forum just before 6pm, got my free Beale Street blue Memphis Grizzlies 10th season tee shirt, bought my $7 refillable souvenir sweet tea and arrived in my seat in section 203 row A. I realized that my Grizzlies season ticket seat is in about the same location as my Ravens season ticket seat was in Baltimore when I lived there – up top, in the corner, above the players tunnel.
It was 45 minutes before gametime and the arena was empty. Gary Goin, the houseband, played a couple songs. Then around 7, after the national anthem and before the player introductions, Memphis’ own Al Kapone performed with the Memphis Symphony.
Tipoff was around 7:15. FedEx Forum looked a little more than half full to me, but I found out that paid attendance was 17,519 – capacity is 18, 190. The Grizzlies did not look great. They were very sloppy – almost too excited it seemed. They were trying to make hotshot layups instead of making the easy shot. Also, the Grizzlies are in definite need of some REBOUND practice!
Zack Randolph got hurt in the first quarter, and the Grizzlies were losing 22-30. Seven-year old Memphis rapper Lil P-Nut performed after the first quarter. At the half, the Grizzlies were losing 50-62. Memphis’ own BarKays performed with Booker T Jones at halftime. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Grizzlies were losing 75-91. With 5 minutes left to play, the Grizzlies were down by 20 points and the fans fled out of FedEx Forum.
The Memphis Grizzlies lost their season opener for the 10th season in a row. The score was Memphis 104 – Atlanta 119. Mike Conley led the scoring with 23 points, Rudy Gay with 21, Darrell Arthur with 19 and Sam Young with 17. Rudy Gay had a few exciting dunks and the music was good – as it always is in Memphis!
Please watch my video of the Memphis Grizzlies 10th season opener. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNFvgXdHXgo