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This is it for the Memphis Grizzlies

It all comes down to a single defining moment for the Memphis Grizzlies.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Kansas vs Duke Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord

Real Madrid v Boston Celtics Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

This is it, isn’t it?

The Grizzlies and the city of Memphis have experienced nearly everything together over the last 16 years, from the most triumphant, exhilarating victories to the most bitter, demoralizing defeats. Whether it was the misunderstood beauty of a Zach Randolph jab step jumper or the tenacious defense of Tony Allen, the legacy of the Memphis Grizzlies captivated—and continues to captivate—the hearts of many.

But that legacy is now at a crossroads.

If you look at recent news around the franchise, it sadly appears that Memphis is not a place that the future of the NBA wish to be. And it is not surprising in the slightest.

Look at their history of player development! You will never reach your potential in Memphis!

They will just fire the coach after a few years!

Do you really want to be a part of that unstable of a franchise?

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As difficult as it is to admit, the next wave of NBA players do not care about the considerable success—including seven straight playoff appearances—that the Grizzlies had over the last decade. Instead, they perceive a dysfunctional franchise that has no foreseeable future or any real chance to remain relevant. And unfortunately for Memphis, perception is reality.

However, tonight the Memphis Grizzlies will have one final chance to change that reality.

A certain man from a popular superhero trilogy once said that a hero can be anyone, and Memphis will have to hope that he is right. Whether it’s Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley, or perhaps even Jaren Jackson Jr. or Wendell Carter Jr., the Grizzlies will have to hope that whomever they pick will change the course of the franchise.

They will have to because this will likely be the final chance that the Grizzlies have.

Even though they managed to have an impressive run during the Grit ‘n’ Grind era, all of the failed draft choices and poor decisions have left no safety net for the Grizzlies. They lived on the devil’s borrowed time through the excellence of Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, but now the devil has come down to Memphis to collect his due.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The devil analogy is fitting, because if tonight’s draft pick doesn’t work out for the Grizzlies, there will be hell to pay. A failed draft pick in this year’s draft would be the final confirmation to the rest of the NBA that the Memphis Grizzlies are a dysfunctional franchise, a franchise for which you would never wish to play,

If the Grizzlies don’t have success in then wake of this draft, there will be no revival, playoff run, or return to relevance. Rather, it will likely be another season or more lof absolute misery, a full-on teardown. And in a small market like Memphis, the Grizzlies may not be able to survive a total rebuild.

For all of the joy, pain, bliss, and despair that the Grizzles have given the people of Memphis over the last 16 years, it surprises no one that we will likely experience a mixture of all these emotions tonight. When something you care about so much is on the precarious edge of destruction or potentially new life, it is only natural.

Memphis Grizzlies v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Make no mistake, this is it for the Memphis Grizzlies. Their reputation, their present, and their future are all on the line tonight. They have one final chance, one final bullet left in the chamber.

Let’s hope, for the future of Memphis basketball, that they make it count.