The NBA playoffs start today. For fans of the Memphis Grizzlies, they have been waiting a year to get another crack at the Los Angeles Clippers. They cannot wait to fill the FedExForum to capacity on Thursday, April 25 and cheer for the Boys from Beale Street while voicing their displeasure for and derision of the residents of “Flop City”. Memphis will be absolutely electric on that night.
But the first two games are in L.A., so we will watch them on television. We will gather in our homes, our friend’s homes, local sports bars and pubs, and anywhere with a big TV and enough room for us to jump up in celebration and outrage.
Well…most of us will be watching on TV. Meet Daniel Edmunds.
He’s a Grizz fan living on the West Coast, and he will be in the Staples Center tonight, cheering on our beloved team. We decided to ask him a few questions about what it is like being a fan in enemy territory.
3 Shades of Blue: How did you become a Grizz fan?
Daniel: I moved to Memphis in 2008 to go to school at the University of Memphis. I grew up in East TN, but the city of Memphis and the Grizzlies are completely ignored on that half of the state, which is sad because both are incredible if you let yourself get to know them. So, I started going to games with the girl I was dating at the time and fell in love with the Grizz. I have been an avid follower ever since. Over the past 18 months, I have lived in 6 different cities, but stream Grizz games, read 3 Shades of Blue, and the Commercial Appeal every chance I get.
3SOB: What’s it like being a Grizz fan out West and how many games have you been to?
Daniel: I moved to Southern California in January, so I have only been to 1 Grizz game out here. I was at the Clippers game in March when the Grizz were able to win. People in California love the NBA, and I would say there is more respect and awareness of the Grizz in Southern California than there is in East TN. Of course, I rep the Grizz everywhere I go, so if someone didn’t know of the Grizz before, they know of them shortly after meeting me.
3SOB: What do you think are the keys to the series?
Daniel: Composure on offense. Not just limiting turnovers, but collected, productive possessions. In that regard, Conley’s execution and decision-making is key. Our defense is a constant, we can count on that. When the Grizz came to L.A., we didn’t blow them out, but we were comfortable the whole game. We were calm and collected on offense and didn’t turn the ball over. Last week in Memphis, things felt out of sorts and rushed on offense (and still almost won). Do not press, because even though we lost the games at home, I think we should still have confidence that you can beat this team on any court.
3SOB: Who is your favorite player?
Daniel: Hard to say. My experience in the military has made me a total team guy. [Ed. note: Daniel serves in the United States Marine Corps.] Teams don’t succeed unless each person can be counted on to do their part. I like every player on our team because they are on our team. I really cannot pick a single favorite, as soon as I try, the list grows to a 6-way tie.
3SOB: Your prediction for the series?
Daniel: Grizz in 7. I will be sitting behind the basket on Saturday night, hopefully holding up a sign “Welcome to FLOP CITY”. Go Grizz!
Big thanks go out to Daniel for his insight and story. We will be checking back with him as the series progresses, so if you have any questions for him, send them to me at grizzblogger[at]gmail.com