There’s plenty of excitement in the NBA as the league prepares to restart the 2019-2020 season in Orlando. Optimism abounds withIn the Grizzlies who are seemingly completely healthy in Orlando preparing to wrap up the regular season as they try and hold onto the 8th seed in the Western Conference. The time off due to COVID-19 has allowed the team to get recharged and ready to go later this month.
Grizzly Bear Blues has also “recharged” heading into the NBA restart by hiring 4 new writers to the staff, as well as another podcast. Eric Nelson, Bryce Hayes, Leanna Ritter and Jesse Cinquini join as GBB staff writers while the “Let’s Be Real” podcast (@lbrsports901) hosted by Parish Sharkey, Skyler Clayton, Tevin McInnis, Trevor Shipp and Rashad Riley gives GBB a 4th podcast on the SB Nation podcast network. An already loaded staff just got that much stronger.
Let’s meet your new GBB-ers.
1. Tell us about yourself
Eric Nelson (@EricTweetsNBA): My name is Eric Nelson, I am a sophomore at the University of Memphis studying Sports Management. I have dreams of becoming a professional basketball coach. I have been tweeting about the Grizzlies since 2015 and have been doing film breakdowns since October.
Bryce Hayes (@nxtprodigy): My name is Bryce Hayes. I’m from Memphis & recently graduated from Rhodes College after being a college football player the last 4 years. The last 3 years I’ve run my own podcast “Can’t Knock the Hustle” which operated as a sports marketing branch for Rhodes!
Leanna Ritter (@leannaritter_): “My name is Leanna and probably the most important thing to know about me is that I still hate Blake Griffin. Also, I hate the Clippers (still), orange, and Andre Iguodala. I’m a lifelong Memphian and like to take long walks on the bluff. I’m a dog mom to the one and only Penny Hardaway (the labsky). To sum it up, all you really need to know about me is that I love all things Memphis, food, and family.
Jesse Cinquini (@CinquiniJesse): I am a 20-year-old Massachusetts native who will be a college junior in the fall. My major? It happens to be sports journalism; shocking I know. I have had stints writing for Def Pen Hoops, Celtics Wire, and Rotoballer. There is nothing that brings me greater joy than covering the game of basketball, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write for such knowledgeable and passionate fans.
Parish Sharkey (@DaOne_PShark): I’m a project manager during the day and sports analyst by night. I’m a University of Memphis graduate and former athlete that loves sports (basketball & football mainly), working out, and podcasting. My favorite NBA player is Jimmy Butler.
Skyler Clayton (@_SKYLITO): My name is Skyler Clayton sometimes known as Skylito. I’ve always liked the “Real” in sports. I want to give my viewers and listeners what they should know about the NBA and not what I want them to know.
Tevin McInnis (@TevShakir): My name is Tevin “DJ Tev Shakir” McInnis and I am proudly from Memphis, Mane. After receiving my Bachelors degree in Communications from the University of Memphis, I was blessed with an opportunity to work as a Promotions & Marketing Assistant for iHeartmedia Memphis. Through working at iHeartmedia, I was also able to provide my DJ services to 101.9 KISS FM from 2015 to 2019.
While maintaining my DJ career, I ventured into sports media which resulted in me becoming a co-host for the “Let’s Be Real” and 101.9 KISS FM’s “Bluff City Buzzer” podcasts. I am currently a mix-show DJ for HOT 107.1 and I am just getting started to make a positive impact in Memphis sports media.
Trevor Shipp (@TheArtofTrevor): Name is Trevor Shipp. Born and raised in Memphis. Lifetime sports fan. The utility guy/corner man for the Let’s Be Real podcast and now the Starting 5.
Rashad Riley (@ItsReallySheedy): My name is Rashad Riley but everyone refers to me as Sheedy. It’s pronounced similar to speedy just replace the “p” and “h.” Spent years in sports ranging from football and basketball to wrestling and cross-country. I grew up in Ohio but only cheer for the Buckeyes, all of my other favorite teams spawn from my hatred of cities except My Cowboys. I’m the “new-kid” on the block in regards to the “Starting 5”.
2. Why do you want to write about the Grizzlies?
Eric Nelson: I have wanted to write about the Grizzlies for a while to show and to share my passion for the game by covering the team that made me fall in love with the game in the first place. Ever since starting GrizzFilm in the fall, I have felt that GBB would be a great place for me to expand that platform and create even better content.
Bryce Hayes: As a history major at Rhodes, I had to write A LOT of papers and every chance I could I found a way to write about the Memphis Grizzlies whether it was how important they were to the city or the history of the team in general. So to have a chance to do it for GBB was just naturally the next step.
Leanna Ritter: In a world filled with so much hate and sadness, I think even the most different people in Memphis can find common ground with the Grizzlies. I like that even though there is a lot of uncertainty in the world, the Grizzlies (and sports in general) give people a sense of relief and hope.
Jesse Cinquini: “LThe future is incredibly bright in Memphis. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. are leading the way in an exciting new era of Grizzlies basketball. I want to cover and analyze their inevitable growth into one of the NBA’s dynamic duos. Not to mention Memphis’ supporting cast is chock-full of productive young talents. Brandon Clarke, Justice Winslow, Josh Jackson, Dillon Brooks. You get the idea. There’s not a more likable squad out there in terms of personnel. The Grizzlies, uniquely, are built for success in both the short and long term. I look forward to seeing this group compete in the playoffs (sorry Pelicans and Blazers).
Parish Sharkey: I’m a lifetime Memphian and a Grizzlies fan
Skylar Clayton: I want to write for the Grizzlies because it’s been a dream to write & talk about sports and to do it for my hometeam is just icing on the cake.
Tevin McInnis: I want to write for the Memphis Grizzlies because I have always believed that God will show you who He truly is when you follow your heart and passion. The Grizzlies are both to me. To be able to provide Grizzlies content is a dream of mine, especially as the Grizz hold the title of being the most exciting, young team in the NBA.
Trevor Shipp: Memphis has consistently been void of proper acknowledgement and praise from the national media and its more evident now. I want to change that.
Rashad Riley: “I want to write for the Grizzlies because it’s been my dream to actually be a sports broadcaster. I joke vividly with my colleagues on how we don’t use our degrees enough to funnel our dreams. The Grizzlies are on the cusp of another great dynasty, preferably their best since the Grit-Grind era. Real fans don’t want to be there once they are on top, real fans want to grind with their team.
3. What made you a Grizzlies fan?
Eric Nelson: “I didn’t start following the Grizzlies until I was 10 years old and the Grizzlies went on their incredible 2011 Playoff run. Ever since then I’ve followed the team very closely, even going as far as trying to model my own game after Mike Conley.
Bryce Hayes: Being a native Memphian, I’ve been a Grizzlies fan since I was probably 3 years old. I remember going to a few games with my dad at the Pyramid & I’ve just been in love with my hometown team ever since.
Leanna Ritter: I have been a Grizzlies fan as long as I can remember. With that being said, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what moment made me a Grizzlies fan. I don’t know whether it was “whoop that trick” or the Mike Conley masks on the back of the chairs with growl towels. For me, the most important aspect of the Grizzlies is the attitude. Players like Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, Ja Morant. Coaches like David Fizdale. That’s what makes me a Grizzlies fan. That’s what makes me love this organization.
Jesse Cinquini: I am a Celtics die-hard first and foremost, but I have long admired the Grizzlies from afar. The fact the team has (for the most part) remained competitive and a joy to watch throughout the years is a testament to their culture. Like the majority of people in Memphis, the Grizzlies are a blue-collar organization that harps on the meaningfulness of hard work. The perpetual effort and physicality the Grizz have played with dating back to the days of Zach Randolph are why I fell in love with the franchise.
Parish Sharkey: The Grizzlies moving to Memphis made me a fan automatically. Although the Bulls were my favorite team growing up, the Grizzlies were always in my heart as the hometown team and I was always torn on who I wanted to win when they played each other.
Skylar Clayton: The Grizzlies moving to Memphis made me a Grizzlies fan. I’m Memphis through and through so when a professional basketball team was moved here lifted my fandom for sports even more.
Tevin McInnis: I know this may sound cliche, but the Grizz moving to Memphis made me a fan. I can still remember my first game at the Pyramid vs the Trailblazers in 2001. We didn’t win much in the early years but I still watched every game faithfully.
Trevor Shipp: I’ve always supported the home team just not fully because of how things were being ran in the past i.e. Chris Wallace. Seeing this new movement now really made me buy in.
Rashad Riley: As I alluded to in the previous question, I love the underdog mentality that has surrounded the city of Memphis and more specifically the Grizzlies. I have always admired from a far but became more intrigued with the Grizzlies once they drafted Mike Conley. Living in Ohio, it was difficult to see games that were nationally televised unless it was the playoffs. Once I moved here in 2013 and went to a game, I was instantly hooked. My son is now a Grizzlies fan as well, therefore, we are going to keep it in the family.
Huge thanks to the new group for taking the time to answer some questions. Be on the lookout for their upcoming work with GBB!