Wrestling night at FedexForum might have been the high point of the entire season. The Grizzlies had just destroyed the Denver Nuggets by 30 points in FedexForum, and fans were primed for what would be one of the most authentic Memphis experiences I can ever remember. Droves of fans showed up hours before tipoff to wait in line for a Grizzlyweight World Championship wrestling belt, by far one of if not the best giveaway ever offered by the Grizzlies. The promo did an incredible job of getting the game atmosphere brewing downtown.
It really was pure bliss for many a Memphian. There was a smorgasbord of moments:
- The pregame show was joined by the one and only Ric Flair, and he delivered everything you could want.
- It was mud-ugly basketball led by Zach Randolph, the true GrizzlyWeight Champ.
- Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to shoot 10/32 from the field.
- Jerry Lawler wrestled and beat (obviously) a Thunder fan in a makeshift ring at halftime.
- Jeff Green soared by Durant to do this:
- Tony Allen made one of the most ridiculous shots he's ever taken, and that's saying something.
Memphis pulled away early and OKC never really stood a chance with a hobbled Durant and flustered Westbrook completely off their game.
The evening felt like retribution for the Thunder knocking the Grizzlies out of the playoffs the year before. It was a display of all the off-beat beauty marks that Memphis wears with pride, and the Grizz looked like one of the toasts of the NBA as they cruised to a 35-12 record with the win over their rival.
As I mentioned, this might have been the high point of the whole season so inevitably there's a season low around the corner somewhere. Ironically, it'll come at the hands of the same team that provided the apex moment.