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It’s been over two years since I was a full-time, regular contributor to this website. Sure, I’ve written an article or two here and there, but for the most part, I was about as much a part of the 3 Shades of Blue staff as Marko Jaric’s wife, Adriana Lima, was a presence at Grizzlies’ games while he was on the team. (We do still make gratuitous mentions of ridiculously beautiful women for the sole purpose of showing pictures of them, right?)

Adriana Lima...huge Grizzlies fan

However, now I’m back, so let’s get caught up on what’s gone on during my absence and what we are looking at going forward.

What’s that? You want to know where I was this whole time? Well, Chip has told most people that I took a sabbatical (true) and that I’ve been teaching English (ummm….sorta true). It’s kind of embarrassing actually, but I suppose you all have the right to know.

I actually have been teaching English for the past two years. The only thing is….well, it’s not like I was doing so in some Third World country or anything. The truth is that I’ve been traveling around, teaching English — truly proper English, that is — to one Miss Katy Perry.

Katy Perry

Yeah…that Katy Perry.

You see, she wanted to be able to relate to her boyfriend/fianc/husband (made that whole transition with them), Russell Brand, a little bit better, so she thought that learning proper English in the British style would help her. I volunteered my services as soon as I heard about it….not because I’m British, but because I thought I might be able to woo Ms. Perry away from that lanky buffoon. I really had hoped that the ostrich in his latest commercial would attack him and possibly do some permanent damage, but that didn’t happen either.

Alas, that was not to be, so now I find myself back in Memphis on the heels of the greatest postseason in Grizzlies history. Obviously, I cannot take sole credit for that success, despite the fact that their unprecedented achievements coincided almost exactly with my return to the city on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

That does bring up another interesting point though, as the other event that corresponded with my reappearance was the worst flood in Memphis in the last several decades. Surely that was a coincidence…right? I’m going to say “yes” and move on before anyone seriously contemplates that further.

Swimming/Boating in Memphis...because walking is clearly out of the question

So, what’s been going on with the Grizzlies? Well, in my absence, they managed to win 40+ games in successive seasons and, most importantly, garner not only their first ever postseason victory, but their first ever postseason series win as well. Then, they followed that up by taking the Oklahoma City Thunder to a Game 7 in the Western Conference Semifinals. That makes this a very exciting time to be a Grizzlies’ fan.

I’m not going to discuss Hasheem Thabeet (horrific draft pick), Xavier Henry or Greivis Vasquez, and you’ve already had a chance to read my thoughts on “Showtime” Josh Selby. Zach, Rudy, Marc, Tony are all the kinds of players you want to see on your team. How about my boy Mike Conley though? After spending season after season of defending him as being a legitimate NBA point guard, guess what he went out and did? That’s right, he posted a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio during the regular season, and then proceeded to pull Tony Parker’s shorts down around his ankles in the first round of the playoffs. Vindication? Yeah…maybe just a little bit.

Mike Conley (Commercial Appeal)

The only negative hanging over the franchise is the same thing hanging over every NBA team right now: the lockout. Some fans don’t remember the last lockout, which shortened the 1998-99 season, but I certainly do. There’s talk of not only shortening the upcoming season, but losing it altogether, and possibly the next season as well. Obviously, that’s something that nobody wants to see happen…least of all, those of us here in Memphis that cannot wait for a chance to build on last season’s stirring success. Of course, if that were to occur, I guess I could always go back and take another crack at Katy. At least, that would be something to do…

Katy Perry

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