(Memphis) People around Memphis can’t help but notice how the Grizzlies bring the city together.
“The Grizzlies just manifest the spirit of what Memphis is all about,” said O.C. Collins, a Grizzlies fan.
Grit. Grind. Belief. Hope.
Those are just a few words Collins says describe the Grizzlies and the town they call home.
“It carries beyond the arena, it carries over into the community,” he said.
The Grizzlies unite people in neighborhoods as they huddle around TVs to cheer on the hometown team. It’s become more than just a basketball game. Collins believes the Grizzlies’ playoff run unifies the city where historically its been racially and politically divided.
“I think it’s still here. You kind of look for a respite somewhere,” said Collins. “The Grizzlies are kind of like an escape from it.”
Grizzlies are not only good for the heart of Memphis, but economically too. Businesses thrive in the Metro Memphis area as fans flock to the Mid-South to get a piece of the playoff action.
Even as far as Tunica sees an increase in business.
“To see the Grizzlies reach this level in the playoffs is certainly positive for businesses, certainly ours,” said Chuck Miller of Fitzgerald Casinos.
With each playoff win, the community grows stronger and should be known by its’ name; Grizz Nation.
“It really shows the world what kind of city we have here. I think it erases a lot of the negative that you hear a lot,” said Collins. “I think it does a lot for the people here in Memphis too because a lot of us have real negative ideas about Memphis and Memphis is a real great place to live.”