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Editorial Results (free)

1. Memphis Redbirds, Grizzlies Partner for ‘Grit & Grind Night’ -

The Memphis Redbirds and Memphis Grizzlies play in different sports and at different levels, but for years the people running the teams acted as though they were quasi-rivals.

Change has been in the works for a while – the annual Cardinals Caravan was at FedExForum this winter when AutoZone Park was getting a makeover – but now a growing partnership is in even greater evidence.

2. Scheduled Good Times: The Next Grizzlies Season -

Turns out, Marc Gasol was wrong.

“I don’t think LeBron is coming through that door anytime soon,” Gasol said after the end of last season.

But in fact LeBron James, albeit wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, will come through the doors at FedExForum for the 2015-16 season opener on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

3. It’s Getting Closer: Grizzlies Release Preseason Schedule -

The Memphis Grizzlies have announced their 2015 preseason schedule, including exhibition contests against three of the four teams that advanced to last season’s conference finals. The Grizzlies will play seven preseason games.

4. It’s Getting Closer: Grizzlies Release Preseason Schedule -

The Memphis Grizzlies have announced their 2015 preseason schedule, including exhibition contests against three of the four teams that advanced to last season’s conference finals. The Grizzlies will play seven preseason games.

5. Grizzlies Believe Big Man Backup Brandan Wright A Seamless Choice -

It won’t always be as easy for Mike Conley in the NBA as it was for Scott Reall in high school. But when Reall talks about being Brandan Wright’s teammate at Brentwood Academy in the mid-2000s, you do get the idea that Wright brings some much-needed athleticism to the Grizzlies’ front court.

6. Marc Gasol of Memphis Is Already Right at Home -

He appreciates a fine wine, but at least symbolically does so with a dab of barbecue on his chin.

He attended Lausanne High School while his big brother was both amazing and frustrating Grizzlies fans. And now we hear from Zach Randolph, via Craig Brewer’s best film to date, “Marc Gasol of Memphis,” that he was listening to Three 6 Mafia all along.

7. Grizzlies Draft LSU’s Jarell Martin, Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison -

The Memphis Grizzlies needed more shooting and may have found at least some of it in two off-Broadway draft day trades. But with the 25th overall pick in the first round Thursday night, June 25, the Grizzlies went a different direction and chose 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward Jarell Martin from LSU.

8. Every Year’s Different, and 2015 Belongs to Golden State Warriors -

It went six games, Golden State winning 105-97 in Cleveland to give the Warriors their first NBA championship in 40 years, Andre Iguodala winning the series MVP, and LeBron James saying he didn’t know if this loss hurt more than his three others in the NBA Finals.

9. Next Step: Returning Grizzlies Have to Be Better -

The possible return or exit of All-NBA First Team center Marc Gasol won’t be known for a while. So for our purposes today, let’s assume Gasol takes the mostly likely free agent path and signs a two-year deal with the Grizzlies that allows him to opt out after next season.

10. Stoudamire to Return to Memphis Tigers Bench -

Damon Stoudamire is set to return to the University of Memphis basketball coaching staff.

Stoudamire – a former NBA player who both played and coached for the Memphis Grizzlies – served as an assistant coach for the Tigers from 2011-13. He will return to the Tigers basketball bench in a similar role pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents, head coach Josh Pastner announced.

11. Reality Change -

“The ecosystem of the team is always live and is always shifting. You have to be able to adjust with whatever the situation might be at the time.”

– Marc Gasol

Roll those words from Marc Gasol over in your mind. Hold them up to the light so you can see them from every possible angle, so you can find hope, fear, inspiration, desperation and, last but not least, ambiguity and mystery.

12. This Grizzlies Era Will Stand the Test of Time -

Tony Allen, you’ll be happy to know, plans to be in town for much of the summer. Which means there’s always the chance you might run into him at the Zoo, a Redbirds game, on Beale Street, at the mall, and at any of those places he might suddenly stop, make that first down signal, and repeat what is now legend:

13. Damon Stoudamire to Return to Memphis Tigers Bench -

Damon Stoudamire is set to return to the University of Memphis basketball coaching staff.

Stoudamire – a former NBA player who both played and coached for the Memphis Grizzlies – served as an assistant coach for the Tigers from 2011-13. He will return to the Tigers basketball bench in a similar role pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents, head coach Josh Pastner announced.

14. With barrage of 3-pointers, Warriors close out Grizz in Game 6 -

Stephen Curry said the Golden State Warriors didn’t find themselves until the Memphis Grizzlies “hit us in the mouth two games in a row.”

15. The Power of Grit -

This NBA basketball season has been an exciting one for the Memphis Grizzlies. If nothing else, Mike Conley’s recent injury and subsequent return to the game has demonstrated that the Grizzlies, and the city of Memphis, have some serious grit.

16. Warriors Make Adjustments to Even Series With Grizzlies -

In Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger’s mind there is a magic number, and that number is 100, as in points.

The Grizzlies were far from that number in losing Game 4 101-84 to the Golden State Warriors Monday, May 11, at FedExForum as Stephen Curry lived up to his MVP status with 33 points. The series shifts to Oakland for Game 5 Wednesday night, May 13, all even at 2-2.

17. Grizzlies Enjoy 2-1 Series Lead Over Warriors -

For hours, the cheering inside FedExForum had off and on sounded like so many jet airplanes – a tribute, perhaps, to Memphis International Airport pitchman Tony Allen.

18. The Joy of Tony Allen; Inflategate Worse Than Deflategate -

Wading in with a few quick takes …

If I had the money and the inclination to open up a bar on Beale Street, the name is set: One-Eyed Charlie.

Mike Conley’s masked-man performance in Game 2 as the Grizzlies defeated Golden State to even their Western Conference playoff series at 1-1 now stands atop the list of true grit-n-grind moments. And for the record, playing point guard with a broken face > than pitching with a bloody sock.

19. Grizz Aim to Make Memorable Win the Start of Long, Grinding Series -

They have made a memory. No matter what happens going forward, the Memphis Grizzlies have earned a measure of respect that cannot be stripped away like Tony Allen taking the ball from Klay Thompson.

20. Grizz Fall Behind Without Conley -

More than a week off didn’t lead to the kind of rusty performance that might have made the Golden State Warriors vulnerable in the first game of their Western Conference semifinal playoff series with the Grizzlies.

21. Conley Assists Memphis With 500 Free Tickets -

Mike Conley may be hurt, but he’s still helping how he can.

To thank fans for the support they showed after his latest injury – he underwent surgery Monday for facial fractures suffered in Game 3 in Portland – Conley wanted to buy 500 tickets for Game 5 of the Grizzlies’ first-round playoff series vs. Portland.

22. With or Without Conley, Grizz Face Pass-Fail Exam in Golden State -

We will get to the looming challenge that is the Golden State Warriors in just a moment.

But first, something needs to be said.

No matter what it is in your favor, including a 3-0 series lead, you don’t just push a button for automatic passage to the next round of the NBA Playoffs. The Portland Trail Blazers reminded us of this truth when they rallied in Game 4 to bring the series back to Memphis.

23. Without Conley, Grizzlies Use Team Effort to Take Out Portland -

Zach Randolph scored the first six points of the game – “throw it to the hand” being an immediate and excellent choice.

Marc Gasol finished with a double-double – 26 points and 14 rebounds – and afterward spoke of team defense being the key component in the victory, saying, “It’s always our key.”

24. Mike Conley Assists Memphis With 500 Free Tickets -

Mike Conley may be hurt, but he’s still helping how he can.

To thank fans for the support they showed after his latest injury – he underwent surgery Monday for facial fractures suffered in Game 3 in Portland – Conley wanted to buy 500 tickets for Game 5 of the Grizzlies’ first-round playoff series vs. Portland.

25. Fundraising and Basketball, Part 1 -

Part one of a two-part series. Recent columns have focused on questions for employers to ask prospective fundraising employees and questions for interviewees to ask their interviewers. Our goal: to help all parties understand the critical role of fundraising professionals and what it takes for them to be successful.

26. Shoot to Score: Lee and Grizzlies Find Touch and Go Up 2-0 on Portland -

Plenty of NBA players need to shoot less. But pretty much everyone on the Grizzlies roster is in agreement that guard Courtney Lee needs to shoot more.

And they told Lee so on a night when he would finish with 18 points, hitting on 8-of-11 shots from the floor, 2-of-3 from 3-point range.

27. Grizzlies Flexing Playoff Experience -

It was a perfectly rational question from the perspective of the person asking it, but a flat-out crazy question if you were Marc Gasol.

This was after Game 2, Grizzlies 97, Portland 82. There was much cheering and growl towel waving in FedExForum and beyond, and much disappointment and maybe even depression in the Trail Blazers’ locker room and back in Oregon; although word is, folks out there do know how to self-medicate.

28. Grizzlies-Blazers Series Just Getting Started -

Had this been an NFL Playoff game, Portland coach Terry Stotts would have summed up the just-ended season and perhaps said an optimistic word about next year.

29. Grizzlies Game 1 Victory ‘Like a Breath of Fresh Air’ -

For weeks, maybe months, the Memphis Grizzlies played as though they often didn’t have enough oxygen. It was as though during the last third of the NBA’s 82-game regular season, their air would be cut off at the start of the games, or for a quarter, or when trying to protect a lead.

30. Taking Care of Business -

The postseason is – take your pick – a new season, the second season, the only season that matters.

But before delving into the Grizzlies’ path in the NBA Playoffs, which starts with the Grizzlies as the 5 seed in a first-round Western Conference matchup up with 4-seed Portland Sunday night at FedExForum, a rewind is in order.

31. Gasol Keeps Grizzlies at Home for Game 1 of Playoffs -

Why not make Fan Appreciation Night simple?

Maybe that’s the question center Marc Gasol asked himself before going out and, despite a sprained ankle, scoring a career-high 33 points, pulling down 13 rebounds, and letting go a happy expletive after a sweet fade-away jumper didn’t even touch net.

32. Grizzlies Playoff Picture Muddled, but Another Clippers Series Very Possible -

Sit down, take a couple of aspirin – and no one will blame you if you reach for something stronger – and let’s try to figure out the maddening playoff possibilities for the Memphis Grizzlies.

33. Grizzlies Find Themselves – At Least for 48 Glorious Minutes -

That happy butt-slap Zach Randolph gave himself galloping down the court in the midst of the most jubilant night at The Grindhouse in months?

He did not steal that from Marc Gasol.

“He got that from me,” Randolph said, his laugher filling the Grizzlies’ locker room after a 110-74 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans restored faith for the masses and perhaps to the players themselves.

34. Make Some Noise? Grizzlies’ Goals Still Attainable -

Stylistically, it was a bit of short of spectacular. No one on the Grizzlies cracked 20 points, the opponent was bound for the NBA Draft Lottery, and the game was less about buzz and more about finally taking care of business on the home court.

35. Grizzlies’ Carter, Lee Confident Long-Range Shots Will Fall -

The Memphis Grizzlies take and make fewer 3-point shots than any team in the NBA not named the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Yet in the early days of this season, when seemingly everything the Grizzlies did went right, guard Courtney Lee was at the top of the league’s 3-point shooting list and point guard Mike Conley wasn’t far behind.

36. Grizzlies Carry Three-Win Streak Into Home Game With Cavs -

When the Memphis Grizzlies won by 21 points at New York Monday night, they won their 50th game of the season, clinched a fifth straight playoff berth and second-year head coach Dave Joerger earned his 100th victory.

37. Grizzlies Turnaround Not As Easy as Flipping a Switch -

Consider just one headline from Yahoo Sports to demonstrate how fast a single word in a quote can blow up and get the media and fans alike into panic mode:

“Have the Memphis Grizzlies gone ‘soft’ since going Green?”

38. Grizzlies’ Worries Shouldn’t Include Tony’s Temper -

What, you expected this Grizzlies season to be all wine and roses? Or in the Memphis vernacular, all microbrew and barbecue?

The NBA season does not work like that. Not even for the really, really good teams.

39. Flip-Flops Can Wait As Grizz Keep Putting in Work -

The Memphis Grizzlies won 39 games before the All-Star break. How significant is that? Five times since they’ve been in Memphis, the Grizzlies failed to win 29 games all season.

Not so long ago, fans would have judged a 39-win Grizzlies team to be playing with house money. But not now.

40. Three Questions Grizzlies Must Answer to Keep Momentum -

They have banked 39 wins and earned their current standing – emphasis on the word current – as the team with the second-best record in the Western Conference behind Golden State.

So if the playoffs started today….

41. One Team, Two Coaches: Grizzlies A Product of Hollins-Joerger -

Lionel Hollins’ departure from the Grizzlies was awkward, messy, ill-timed and could have been the start of a very disheartening chapter in franchise history.

“It could have been a train wreck, honestly,” point guard Mike Conley said.

42. Grizzlies Dominate Inside in Win Over Atlanta -

Guess which NBA team this player is talking about: “It’s a playoff team. It’s a team that’s going to play hard on every possession. Offensively and defensively they pay attention to executing.” That sounds a lot like what many opposing players passing through FedExForum this season have said about the Grizzlies. But it was Tony Allen talking about the Atlanta Hawks – after the Grizzlies defeated the Eastern Conference’s top team 94-88 here last Sunday night.

43. Dream Season -

The Grizzlies had just defeated the rival Oklahoma City Thunder before a loud sellout crowd in The Grindhouse and Jerry “The King” Lawler had defended his Memphis championship wrestling belt, albeit with an assist from the Grizzlies’ crack game operations staff.

44. Staxtacular to Feature Grizzlies Players -

The Soulsville Foundation and the Memphis Grizzlies are bringing the worlds of basketball, music and mentoring together at the foundation’s largest annual fundraiser, Staxtacular 2015.

Presented by SunTrust, Staxtacular will be held Feb. 7 from 7 p.m. until midnight at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

45. Gasol An All-Star Starter; Conley, Z-Bo Just As Valuable -

Center Marc Gasol has broken through the glass ceiling that forever has hung above Memphis and the Grizzlies.

The NBA’s fans, a global group to be sure, shattered that glass by voting Big Spain into the Western Conference starting lineup for the Feb. 15 NBA All-Star Game. Naturally, there is pride about that in every corner of the Grizzlies’ locker room and in every corner of the city.

46. Sports Betting 'Socially Acceptable' on Super Bowl Sunday -

The statement seems self-evident. Whether you just fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket in the office pool every year, make a bet on the Super Bowl, or buy the occasional scratch-off lottery ticket.

47. Grizz Atop Southwest Division Despite Challenges -

Playing without starting point guard Mike Conley (left wrist sprain) and swingman Tony Allen (left ankle sprain), the Grizzlies pounded the Mavericks 109-90 Tuesday night, Jan. 27, in Dallas and perhaps delivered a message to the rest of the Western Conference:

48. Staxtacular to Feature Grizzlies Players -

The Soulsville Foundation and the Memphis Grizzlies are bringing the worlds of basketball, music and mentoring together at the foundation’s largest annual fundraiser, Staxtacular 2015.

Presented by SunTrust, Staxtacular will be held Feb. 7 from 7 p.m. until midnight at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

49. Presumptive All-Star Starter Marc Gasol Concerned With One Thing: Winning -

His night’s work done, center Marc Gasol put on a gray suit and stood in front of his locker and waited for the inevitable questions about the NBA All-Star Game.

The Grizzlies’ center had scored a game-high 26 points and handed out a team-best five assists in a 92-86 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Gasol also had grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots, but it was an eyesore of a game even if at the end the Grizzlies had improved their record to 30-12.

50. Q&A: Vince Carter, Memphis Grizzlies Guard/Forward -

Fast Facts: 1998-99 NBA Rookie of the Year; 2000 Olympic gold medalist; won the Slam Dunk contest at All-Star Weekend in 2000; eight-time NBA All-Star; averaged more than 24 points in a season six times in his career; has averaged 19.8 points per game over his career; received NBA Community Assist Award in 2005; signed with Grizzlies this past summer as a free agent; cousin of former NBA player Tracy McGrady; ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with more than 23,000 points; turns 38 on Jan. 26.

51. Honoring a Legacy -

The Grizzlies are in their 14th season in Memphis, and next Monday, Jan. 19, will mark the 13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Day.

52. Overtimes, Trade Dominate Grizz Weekend -

The Memphis Grizzlies have played a lot of big games and made a lot of moments in recent years at FedExForum. Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns, which required two overtimes and included Tony Allen, aka The Grindfather, hugging an inflatable birthday cake as fans serenaded him, was one of the wilder and stranger ones.

53. Grizzlies Move to Front in NBA Trade Rumors -

One only need look back to Monday, Jan. 5, at FedExForum to understand the business of the NBA. The New York Knicks were warming up for their game against the Grizzlies when word came down that team president Phil Jackson was done waiting for things to get better on their own.

54. Grizz Take Advantage of Knicks -

While the New York Knicks were busy dismantling the wreckage that is the basketball franchise under the care of team president Phil Jackson, the Memphis Grizzlies simply wanted to grab the easy victory that had been set before them.

55. Grizzlies Hope to Continue Building Off Spurs Defeat -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The Memphis Grizzlies made sure early that they didn't go to triple overtime again against the San Antonio Spurs.

Fueled by 16 first-quarter points from Mike Conley, the Grizzlies built an early 10-point lead, eventually led by 16 and weathered a fourth-quarter push by the Spurs for a 95-87 victory over San Antonio on Tuesday night.

56. Losing Streak Ends Impressive Stretch by Grizzlies -

After the Grizzlies lost to the Chicago Bulls, their second six-game winning streak of the season coming to an end, Mike Conley made a fair point.

57. Grizzlies Halt Golden State’s Streak -

For the starters, the best part of Tuesday night’s statement win at FedExForum came while they were on the bench.

A 20-0 run to start the second quarter – all the points coming from the Grizzlies’ reserves – turned this showdown between the two best teams in the NBA into a 105-98 victory as Memphis (20-4) stopped the Golden State Warriors’ franchise-record 16-game winning streak.

58. All-Star Voting Opens, Includes Grizz Players -

The National Basketball Association and Sprint have tipped off NBA All-Star Balloting 2015 and Grizzlies fans can vote for their favorite Grizzlies players, including Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and Courtney Lee.

59. Q&A: Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies Point Guard -

Fast Facts: Now in eighth NBA season, he set a career high in 2013-14 by averaging 17.2 points; was fourth overall pick of 2007 NBA Draft after leading Ohio State to the 2007 NCAA Championship Game as a freshman; father, Mike Conley Sr., won the gold medal in the triple jump in the 1992 Olympics.

60. Gasol, Grizzlies Refuse Satisfaction -

Odds are, Marc Gasol will not win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award this season.

But as Gasol would be the first to tell you, that doesn’t matter.

Neither does it take away from that moment at the end of a recent game here against the Dallas Mavericks. Gasol was at the free-throw line, scoring the last two of his 30 points as the Grizzlies secured a 114-105 victory and improved to 17-4, when the serenade started.

61. Prince, Leuer Lead Grizzlies Bench Above the Rim and Under the Radar -

Let’s start with the dunks. Dunks by bench players – Jon Leuer and Tayshaun Prince – who don’t even know from night to night if they will get to play, never mind have an opportunity to catch a sliver of the spotlight.

62. Grizz Prove Elite Status With Mavs Win -

The Dallas Mavericks were doing what they do, ringing the offensive cash register early and often as they scored 37 first-quarter points and went 7-for-11 from 3-point range.

It might have been enough to bury some teams. It might have been enough to put previous Grizzlies teams in a deep hole. But when the first quarter ended Tuesday night at FedExForum, the Mavericks owned just a 37-34 lead.

63. Recruiting Wars -

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is in his eighth year in the NBA. But he’s just 27 years old and his 10-year class reunion at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis is still an event in the future.

64. Gasol, Grizzlies Finding New Heights -

It’s the unachievable goal, but still a worthy pursuit.

We are, of course, speaking of perfection.

Or rather, Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is speaking of perfection.

“We can never be satisfied,” Big Spain was saying after going for 30 points and 12 rebounds in the Grizzlies’ 107-91 thumping of the Los Angeles Clippers at FedExForum last Sunday. “As soon as you’re satisfied, you start taking steps backwards.

65. Grizzlies Playing With Dominating ‘Edge’ -

After Marc Gasol had demoralized the Los Angeles Clippers – which is what 30 points and 12 rebounds from the Grizzlies’ slimmed-down center will do – coach Doc Rivers noted that Gasol “looked great, he’s playing with an edge. Very serious.”

66. Grizz Want NBA to Know They’re the Real Deal -

It was early. How else do you define an NBA game played on Nov. 17?

But it was important, the game seeming to hold value beyond the single win (which went to the Grizzlies) or the one loss (which went to the Houston Rockets).

67. Watching Kobe’s Empty-the-Clip Tour -

For those first few minutes, Kobe Bryant was toying with us. He passed the ball and he passed up shots – open and otherwise.

The crowd last Tuesday night at FedExForum seemed unnerved by this. Let’s face it, whether you come wearing a white No. 50 Zach Randolph jersey or a purple and gold No. 24 Lakers jersey, you come to see Kobe be true to his DNA.

68. Grizz Need Bench That Showed Up Against Lakers -

In the Twitterverse Tuesday night, everyone was counting Kobe Bryant’s misses at FedExForum. In the fourth quarter, Bryant let fly a turnaround jumper over the Grizzlies’ Courtney Lee that missed and Bryant had set the all-time NBA record for missed field goals.

69. Pushing Through the Mud, Grizz Start Fast Their Way -

How early is it in this NBA season? Early enough that a coach will reach for a college football analogy.

“This is a team that we have struggled with, going 1-3 with them in our division, a.k.a. the SEC West in football, where we went 4-12 last year.”

70. Grizzlies Brass Has Challenge In Analyzing Player Minutes -

It took but a single game for one of the Memphis Grizzlies’ main dilemmas to present itself. Namely, what’s a coach to do when his starters are playing well and the bench is giving him almost nothing?

71. ‘Anything’s Possible’ -

Seated at the same table as guard Tony Allen for the Grizzlies’ 13th Annual Tip-Off Luncheon on Monday, Oct. 27, fan Kim Cherry couldn’t help but notice The Grindfather’s Army fatigues sport coat. It was the booming fashion statement of the day.

72. Grizzlies Part of Crowded Western Conference Race -

Calling it the Wild West just doesn't do it justice anymore.

The NBA's Western Conference is brutal. It's loaded with talent. And the eight teams that make it through a gruelingly competitive regular season to reach the playoffs will only find slugging their way to the NBA Finals even more daunting.

73. Allen, Lee Named Grizzlies Starters -

The guesswork over who would start on the wings for the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 29 in the season opener vs. Minnesota at FedExForum is over. Coach Dave Joerger has named Tony Allen and Courtney Lee starters, joining point guard Mike Conley, power forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol.

74. Grizzlies Find Respect Hard to Come By -

Perhaps it was a just coincidence. On the day that the results of the annual NBA General Managers’ survey were announced, ESPN was in Memphis for its only scheduled visit of the season.

Or perhaps this was no coincidence at all.

75. Athletes Can Be Fans, Too -

You suffer as a sports fan? You’d be surprised who understands. Former Grizzlies sharpshooter Mike Miller, now back with LeBron James in Cleveland, understands.

76. Allen, Lee Named Grizzlies Starters -

The guesswork over who would start on the wings for the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 29 in the season-opener vs. Minnesota at FedExForum is over.

Head Coach Dave Joerger has named Tony Allen and Courtney Lee starters, joining point guard Mike Conley, power forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol.

77. Allen, Lee Named Grizzlies Starters -

The guesswork over who would start on the wings for the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 29 in the season-opener vs. Minnesota at FedExForum is over. Coach Dave Joerger has named Tony Allen and Courtney Lee starters, joining point guard Mike Conley, power forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol.

78. Grizzlies’ Most Pressing Issue: Gasol’s Future -

Our apologies for even addressing this depressing topic before the season starts, but realities are realities.

Without going too deep into the NBA’s thick contract rules and regulations, the short story is this: The Grizzlies and center Marc Gasol could agree to a contract extension around mid-December, but Gasol stands to make far more money if he becomes a free agent at season’s end. This is true even if he signs a new deal with the Grizzlies and doesn’t jump to another team or bigger market.

79. Time is Now -

For now, the Memphis Grizzlies’ window of opportunity is open.

With four straight playoff appearances in the immediate past, there is no reason to believe the Grizzlies won’t get there again. But it’s not about just getting there, not about playing a tough seven-game series, as the Grizzlies did in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs against Oklahoma City last season, only to come home after a dispiriting Game 7 loss.

80. Grizzlies’ Conley to Host Sickle Cell Fundraiser -

The sixth annual Mike Conley Bowl ‘n Bash benefiting the Methodist Healthcare Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27, from noon to 4 p.m. at Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes, 1576 S. White Station Road.

81. Events -

The Bridge, Memphis’ first street newspaper, will hold its “Under One Roof” fall fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the McCallum Ballroom at Rhodes College, 2000 North Parkway. The event will give community members and vendors of The Bridge a chance to mingle and enjoy a meal, and an auction will feature works by artists with experiences of homelessness. Tickets are $50. Visit thememphisbridge.com/fallfundraiser for details.

82. Events -

ArtsMemphis will hold an opening reception for works from TOPS Gallery Friday, Sept. 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at ArtsMemphis, 575 S. Mendenhall Road. ArtsMemphis is lending its space to TOPS, a Downtown gallery, through Nov. 14. Visit artsmemphis.org.

83. Events -

Rhodes College will present the Rhodes Less Traveled: New and Experimental Music Festival Thursday, Sept. 18, and Friday, Sept. 19. Events include open air concerts both days at noon on the Briggs North Patio at Rhodes, 2000 North Parkway; a concert with new music from modern-day composers Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Evergreen Presbyterian Church, 613 University St.; and new music for orchestra and winds Friday at 7:30 at Evergreen. Visit rhodes.edu/mccoy for details.

84. Vols: Looks Like 6-6 Season -

Pull out your 2014 schedules, UT fans.

Fall camp is done, and it’s time to get in game-week mode with the season opener against Utah State fast approaching.

So go to the little box next to each of UT’s opponents on the 2014 schedule and pick the winner.

85. LeBron’s Contract: Best Bargain in Sports -

The money can drive you crazy, if you let it. Each day in Memphis we’re reading about “blue flu” and the city’s ongoing financial crisis.

With that as our local backdrop, it’s easy to become disgusted with the LeBron James sweepstakes that sort of looks like a steel cage (no, make that bank vault) death match between glitzy Miami/slick Pat Riley and hardscrabble Cleveland/thin-skinned Dan Gilbert.

86. A Wise Sports Fan Appreciates the Journey -

So what does Team USA’s soccer experience and the Memphis Grizzlies experience have in common?

You know, besides the obvious – playing against a bunch of floppers/whiners, be they from Portugal or Lob City?

87. Grizzlies Draft UCLA's Adams, Memphis Native Stokes -

Whether it will prove to be a telling remembrance or not, news of the Grizzlies selecting guard UCLA shooting guard Jordan Adams with the No. 22 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft was largely met with mild disdain, sweeping indifference and a dash of tilt-your-head curiosity.

88. Grizzlies Seek NBA Draft Night Magic -

Three years ago, you probably had never heard of Kawhi Leonard. He played at San Diego State, the same school from which the Grizzlies selected guard Jamaal Franklin in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft.

89. Finals Presents Intriguing Question About Coaching -

So if the Miami Heat win a third straight NBA championship, it’s all about LeBron James and a cast of future Hall-of-Famers that includes Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen and, in a lot of people’s view, Chris Bosh.

90. Teeing Off -

Everyone was in a good mood. Not just normally affable Grizzlies players Mike Conley and Mike Miller, but former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown, a couple of hard-nosed throwback types.

91. NBA Fuels Fans’ Suspicion of Game Fixing -

Just so there is no misunderstanding, let me answer this question first:

Do I believe NBA Playoff games are actually fixed?

No, I do not. I don’t think that Commissioner Adam Silver now, or David Stern before him, is sitting in the rafters of NBA arenas and pulling strings that make puppets, er, officials, blow whistles when someone deigns to breathe on LeBron James or Kevin Durant.

92. Grizz Looking Forward to Next Season’s Grind -

Tony Allen, still believing, had “packed for a three-day trip to L.A.” and another playoff confrontation with the Clippers.

93. Z-Bo’s Future Dominates Grizz Talk -

If there was one thing that the Memphis Grizzlies’ seven-game playoff series with Oklahoma City didn’t lack, it was drama. There were four overtimes and several plot twists before the Thunder put the Grizzlies down in Game 7 as they played without Zach Randolph, who was suspended by the NBA for a hard push/punch in Game 6.

94. Thunder's 'Easy Points' Take Grizz Down 104-84 -

In a season dedicated to doing things the hard way, the Memphis Grizzlies are now face-to-face with a Game 7 on Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Able to survive blowing leads, able to win three of four overtime games to take a 3-2 series lead over the No. 2 seed Thunder, the Grizzlies could not stomach their fleeting prosperity. In fact, they could not even make Game 6 Thursday night on their home court anything close to competitive.

95. Heisley’s Legacy: Believing in Memphis -

It is said that the famous have their lives summed up in the first paragraph of their public obituary.

The first sentence from a recent obit in The New York Times read: “Michael Heisley, the billionaire financier, who bought the N.B.A.’s floundering Vancouver Grizzlies in April 2000 and soon moved them to Memphis, where he revitalized the franchise, died on Saturday in Illinois. He was 77.”

96. Grizzlies Look to Clinch Tight Series -

Through five playoff games, four overtimes and three wins in overtime, the Memphis Grizzlies have played fast and loose with opportunities.

Big leads have evaporated – see that 20-point advantage in the third quarter of Game 5 at Oklahoma City Tuesday night – and late leads have been squandered – see that five-point cushion with about a minute to go in the Game 4 loss at FedExForum.

97. Grizz Players React to Sterling’s Comments -

Five years ago, for part of one NBA season, Zach Randolph was a Los Angeles Clipper and on the payroll of owner Donald Sterling.

98. Best of Three -

After the Game 3 victory in overtime, Tony Allen made it plain that the Grizzlies were all about stopping Oklahoma City stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

99. Grizzlies’ Conley Wins Sportsmanship Award -

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley has been named the 2013-14 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner.

100. Grizzlies’ Conley Wins NBA Sportsmanship Award -

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley has been named the 2013-14 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner.