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Parker Fleming is the new Site Manager for Grizzly Bear Blues

It’s next gen for GBB, ya hear me

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Brooklyn Nets v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Let’s kick this column off with this bit of exciting news: I’m blessed to announce that I’m the newest Site Manager for Grizzly Bear Blues.

From moments of reflection upon this news, it’s very surreal to enter this chapter of my life and of this blogging “career.” I grew up reading columns from Geoff Calkins and Ron Tillery in The Commercial Appeal every morning before school. Then after school, I’d write fictitious box scores and game previews on my family computer similar to the ones from the paper. When I was 10 or 11 years old, I’d live on Grizzlies message boards, giving my thoughts on the different trades or draft picks – and then that’d transition to Facebook and Twitter in my teenage years.

After the first semester of my freshman year, my life plan upon entering college just wasn’t going to materialize. I was directionless at that time, and then I received an email about a national blogging network looking for Grizzlies writers. I shot my shot, and kicked off my writing career there. From there, I grew in my craft of putting my basketball thoughts into a written form. A few months later, I entered the media doors after this cool experience talking to Mike Conley at his MVP season ticket holder press conference after re-signing with the Grizzlies in 2016 – more here.

Time went on, and I moved on to write for Grizzly Bear Blues. I owe so much to now former GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax for what’s transpired over my time at GBB. I entered the blogging network as an excited writer looking to talk about anything relevant going on with the Grizzlies, and he reeled me in and taught me the art of striking quality and quantity. When that happened, he also gave me the confidence in writing in my own voice and style. That confidence only grew when he made me the Gameday Lead to cover the Grizzlies on the floor at the Forum. It’s stuff I dreamed of – interviewing players and coaches of a team I’ve been a lifelong follower of, and talking hoops with the media personalities that I grew up reading or listening to.

And to now join Joe, Chris Faulkner, Kevin Lipe, and Tom Lorenzo into this class of Grizzly Bear Blues Site Managers — as well as this talented group of Site Managers across the SB Nation network — it’s an incredible honor.

I’m thankful for the connections I’ve built through GBB – whether it’s this staff, fellow local media members, those in the organization behind the scenes, or those I’ve met on social media – and the part they’ve played in my growth in this field. I wouldn’t be in this position without the spiritual guidance from God, blessing me with this awesome experience and opportunity. I wouldn’t be in this position without the support from my fiancée, Allie, and my family – reading or listening to my stuff, providing encouragement, or texting back their takeaways from my articles (pointing to my grandmothers there).

Really want to give my fiancé Allie her flowers here, because she’s my rock. It’s so easy to do all this when you and the person you love are there for each other, and support and love the passions of the other. She wants to watch and go to games, to talk to me about the players, and to support me and the team. This team means so much to her, and they did a lot for her over her battle with cancer. I’m very thankful to have that woman in my corner in everything I do.

I wish this announcement came a month from now. This Memphis Grizzlies squad was so damn fun – fun to watch, to write and talk about, to interview in media sessions. There were also so many cool storylines to follow… Ja Morant’s rise to superstardom, Jaren Jackson Jr.’s defensive dominance, Desmond Bane’s mega leap, Brandon Clarke’s bounce-back, Steven Adams’ renaissance, Tyus Jones emerging as the best backup point guard in the NBA, Ziaire Williams being better quicker than expected, and Taylor Jenkins’ candidacy for Coach of the Year. On top of that, the pure joy and swagger they played with made any random night in the regular season an absolute blast. I wish it all would have resulted in a NBA championship this season, but the best is yet to come and they are going to grow from his experience.

I’ve thought a lot about what this iteration of Grizzly Bear Blues is going to look like, and I can’t pinpoint anything, but I see it transforming over time – and I’m always receptive to feedback. I’m going to aim to grow individually as someone that provides great Memphis Grizzlies content, while also relying on and empowering the deep staff over here at GBB.

So yeah, it’s going to be absolutely awesome to cover this great young team and to see how it builds from here.

It’s GBB next gen. Let’s have some fun.

For more Grizzlies talk, subscribe to the Grizzly Bear Blues podcast network on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and IHeart. Follow Grizzly Bear Blues on Twitter and Instagram.