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NBA Playoff 2014 A Grizzly Pep Talk: The Road Warriors

Memphis is, and always has been, a wrestling town. This has been shown in great articles and entertaining in-game skits during timeouts. From Jerry Lawler to Bil Dundee and everyone in between, Memphis wrestling runs as deep in this city as the mighty Mississippi itself. In this Pep Talk, "Coach Mullinax" harkens to one of the greatest tag teams of all time as motivation for Game 5.

Jerry Lawler and Memphis' wrestling roots run deep in the Bluff City
Jerry Lawler and Memphis' wrestling roots run deep in the Bluff City

Bring it in, men.

It's been said that this team represents Memphis. One of the biggest parts of Memphis history is professional wrestling. The Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman story, the craziness that was the Mid-South Coliseum, it all really shines in the story that is the Bluff City. Our in-game folks have done a great job with this lately; coach, hit the lights for me.

Pretty hype mascot. Great Grizzlies writers like Chris Herrington have done a great job in recent days writing about us in relation to our Memphis wrestling history. Z-Bo as a pro wrestler? That'd be pretty awesome to watch.

Speaking of Memphis wrestling, one of my favorite tag teams of all time in professional wrestling was Animal and Hawk, the Legion of Doom. They worked the Memphis territory before they were the Legion of Doom, doing battle with Jerry Lawler and the like, when they were the Road Warriors. For those of you youngins unfamiar with the Road Warriors, check this out.

The spirit of the Road Warriors is this team, guys. The intensity, the in your face ferocity, the stiff work rate. Win or lose, you're going to get your ass kicked. Their ability to work as a team; look at their moves! Their finishing maneuver, the "Doomsday Device", is a move in which Road Warrior Animal lifts up their opponent, while Road Warrior Hawk (rest in peace) clotheslines him from the top rope. They work together to inflict as much damage as possible on their foe. There's a message there; work together, and be more effective than you can be on your own (stares at Zach Randolph)

The biggest message is in the name itself, and relates to tonight- "Road Warriors." We have painted ourselves in to a tough spot, gentlemen. It isn't for a lack of effort; the Grit and Grind has been there, and I am proud of the fight you have shown. When you're playing a team with the talent of the Thunder, however, sometimes trying your best just isn't enough. You have to beat them with execution, with physicality and with mental toughness.

There is no one as mentally tough as a "Road Warrior." A willingness to go in to the lion's den, to use sheer determination and will to take what is yours, all others be damned. The Thunder will be ready; Coach Brooks will have them prepared, Durant will be more efficient, Westbrook more explosive. The OKC crowd tonight will be fired up with their noisemakers, their matching t-shirts, their happy-go-lucky game atmosphere.

That's cute and all, but that ain't Memphis.

What is Memphis is suffocating defense and basketball violence. An chaotic aggression that can only be learned through experience and tough times. We as a team have been to far worse places than Oklahoma City; men, we have been to hell and back! For what? For these guys to take from us what can be ours? For them to move on, to claim a destiny that we want more? They haven't had the trials, they haven't paid the price like we have had to do to get where we are. We haven't come this far together for it all to end now. Show that tonight. Take what you have worked so hard for and keep this thing going.

Winning at home, a great thing. Streamers, towels, the whole nine. Winning in the opponent's building, showing the fortitude, the stones, to beat them at their place? Being a "Road Warrior?"

What a Rush.