April 30, 2011 Leave a comment
For only the 4th time in NBA history, an 8 seed had eliminated a 1 seed. In 1994, the Denver Nuggets stunned the Seattle SuperSonics, with the iconic final image of Dikembe Mutombo triumphantly clutching the ball above his head. The New York Knicks knocked out the Miami Heat in the lockout shortened 1998-99 season, en route to a surprising NBA Finals appearance. In 2007, buoyed by a raucous home crowd and a “We Believe” slogan, the Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks. And last night, the Memphis Grizzlies eliminated the suddenly old-looking San Antonio Spurs.
It is quite the accomplishment for a team that had been swept in its previous 3 playoff appearances. A team that had become used to crappy play, abysmal attendance, and low TV ratings. A team that despite having played in 2 countries (they started in Vancouver from 1995-2001 before moving to Memphis), remained totally anonymous and lacking an identity. Now, the Grizzlies have arrived. Expect national TV games for the Grizzles next year. They next play another up-and-coming young team, the Oklahoma City Thunder (previously the Seattle SuperSonics). So hats off to the Memphis Grizzles. I have heard Beale Street in Memphis is a good time, but I bet it was extra fun last night.