Tag Archives: Magic Johnson

NBAs biggest secret-Memphis and the Grizzlies

In big media companies, you are not allowed to write or speak about the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Nobody cares,” is the common refrain.

Well, it’s time to start caring, and we are going to bend over backwards to explain why that should be so.

First, the basketball part: The Grizzlies play in a division that is home to the NBA’s two hottest teams, the other being the Houston Rockets, who also have won seven straight games. Memphis pulled off an amazing comeback last night to keep their streak alive, rallying from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat the Golden State Warriors 91-90.

Second, the non-basketball part.

If you attend a game in Memphis, you can exit the arena and walk two short blocks to Beale Street, where you can listen to outstanding live music seven nights a week while downing a 32-ounce coldie that’ll set you back a mere $2.

If you are lucky, the Grizzlies dance team will stop by your juke joint and join you for a beverage. And as my friend and colleague Frank Isola of the New York Daily News so astutely observed and tweeted last season, there is no better assemblage of fine young women representing an NBA team than the members of that particular dance team.

Third, if you have an off-night in Memphis, you can get in your rental car, drive south into Mississippi toward the Tunica Casino and Resort and motor through miles and miles of soybean fields before your senses awake. You can smell it a mile away: Fried chicken.
And if you stop at that chicken stand out in the middle of nowhere, you will eat what Colonel Sanders is secretly chowing down on in heaven. Man, it’s manna, I tell you.
But those last two items are not the reason you are here for your daily update.

So let’s get back to the basketball, and take a closer look at what the Grizzlies pulled off last night in Oakland. After scoring a mere 35 points in the first half while playing their third game in four nights, the Grizzlies erupted for 39 in the fourth quarter to defeat the Warriors 91-90, coming back from a 20-point deficit in the final 15 1/2 minutes.

“We were dead in the water in the first half. We had no answers,” coach Lionel Hollins said. “We don’t quit; we fight. We did that, and we were able to come back and get this win, which is a sweet win.”

It would be a disservice to the Rockets to continue this conversation without including them next. They play in a sprawling metropolis with no zoning rules, which is why you can drive to the far corners of the city and stumble upon one or two 50-story skyscrapers that would seem to have no business being there. For miles around, the next tallest buildings are two-story strip malls.

Back when Jeff Van Gundy was coaching the Rockets, I was working down in Houston and was stopped at a red light when who should pull up in the next lane? None other that JVG himself. “Worst traffic city in America,” Van Gundy observed. “New York has nothing on this place.”
Anyway, it was McHale appreciation night (NOT!) in Minneapolis last night, and the crowd booed McHale lustily during introductions before McHale got the last laugh with a 107-92 victory over the Timberwolves, who got 39 points from Kevin Love (5-for-5 on 3-pointers) and 12 more assists from Ricky Rubio.
The Rockets’ seven-game winning streak has only moved them into fourth-place in the Southwest Division, where they still trail the Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio.

The Spurs were only 1-6 entering their game against the lowly Hornets, but Tim Duncan turned back the clock and scored a season-high 28 points — the final two coming from just inside the foul line off an inbounds play for the game-winning points with 1.4 seconds left. “It was a mix of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, a kind of sky-hook, and we’ll take it,” Tony Parker said of Duncan’s 13-foot game-winner over New Orleans Hornets center Emeka Okafor. Parker added 20 points and a career-high 17 assists.

We stock both Lakers Vs Grizzlies Tickets and Clippers Vs Grizzlies Tickets for the Los Angeles STAPLES Center as well as Fedex Forum in Memphis TN.

Top Five Retro Basketball Games

Arguably one of the greatest NBA game of all time occurred during the 1976 showdown in the final match of the NBA championship between the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns. The first overtime ended with Paul Silas (Celtics) attempting to signal an unauthorized timeout subsequently ignored by referee Richie Powers ending the period tied. At the end of the second overtime, the Suns scored to take a one-point lead with only four seconds to the buzzer. John Havlicek sprinted down the floor and sunk a fifteen-foot jumper to put the Celtics up by one, bringing hundreds of fans to the floor in celebration; the game, however, was not yet over. With one second restored to the clock, Paul Westphal (Phoenix) requested an ineligible timeout resulting in a technical foul. The Celtics scored, moving to a two-point lead, but the Suns with ball at half-court scored on a Gar Heard jumper to tie. The stunned Garden crowd went silent. Glenn McDonald, Celtic reserve, scored six points in the final period to bring home a 128-126 win for Boston.

One game previous to this Celtic win was a dynasty defeat in 1958 NBA championship final competition which ended a decade long run by the infamous Boston club. The St. Louis Hawks, whose 6’9” power forward Bob Petit, scored 50 points, 19 of which were in the final team 21 as they steam-rolled over Boston with a last minute tip-in leaving fifteen seconds on the clock in a 110-109 Cinderella win.

A game just four years later marked the astonishing feat by Bill Russell in the final contest of the 1962 NBA championship season whose 30 points and 40 rebounds led the Boston Celtics to a 110-107 defeat over the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime.

The 1980 6th game of the NBA finals comes on the heels of this competition with rookie Magic Johnson suiting for injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At halftime, the Lakers and the 76ers were tied at 60-60. The Lakers came out explosive in the third quarter firing fourteen unanswered points and stunning the Spectrum crowd as Johnson commanded the boards with 42 points. He was, however, overshadowed by Jamaal Wilkes who scored 25 of his 37 in the second half.

An awesome spectacle by Michael Jordan occurred in the 1986 NBA first round playoff game between the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics in which the Bulls fell to the Celtics 135-131. Jordan, in a his one-man show at Boston Gardens, made it into the annals of NBA history with an awesome display which included fade-away jumpers and signature flying dunks to drop 63 points for the Bulls effort that included 19 of 21 free throws and 22 of 41 field shots.