The Grit N Grind era started after Tony Allen’s walk off press conference in Oklahoma City. We all remember the famous chant, that gave the Grizzlies their identity, “It’s all about heart. Grit and Grind.”
I believe Grit N Grind was developing way before Tony’s chant. Grit N Grind was developed before it had a title. I believe The Origins of Grit N Grind started in 2008, two years before Tony signed a free agent deal with the Grizzlies.
Here is my theory:
Everyone remembers the 2007-2008 Memphis Tigers Men’s Basketball Team. The season that was erased from the record books by the NCAA. The NCAA my have taken our season away, but they cannot take away the memories. The 2008 team was one of the greatest teams in Tigers basketball history and their magical run to the Final Four captivated the city–It was a great time to be in the city of Memphis. The city was live and Tiger’s fever was everywhere. The run to the Final Four brought the city together.
The 2008 team wasn’t your normal group of guys. This team was very different from your normal class at Duke or any other school. This team had an edge; a sense of toughness. The team had a lot of personalities and street cred. The guys were very tough and no one would want to mess with this group-but the city of Memphis loved them. The city took pride into this team’s blue collar personality. Memphis is know for being a tough blue collar city and the city could relate to the 2008 Tigers. Memphians have always look at themselves as being underdogs and the Tigers mirror those same thoughts.
I believe Grizzlies General Manager; Chris Wallace came up with an idea after watching the city’s love affair with the 2008 Tigers. I believe, he recognized, the city had no problem with backing a team that was tough and rough around the edges. He knew the city would fall in love with the Grizzlies if they could related to them and if the team played hard and win games. The team could be made in the identity of the city.
Chris Wallace knew, the idea of luring big name free agents to Memphis is nearly impossible. So he came up with a different approach. He went after guys that other teams labeled outcast. Wallace looked for guys who needed a second chance. He look for guys the city would embrace; Blue collar guys.
Wallace next moves changed the identity of the franchise. He brought in two guys that fit the mode perfectly,Tony Allen and Zach Randolph. I’m pretty sure Wallace didn’t know that his actions would be this spot on, but he took a chance that paid off for him and the future of the Grizzlies franchise. The move gave the Grizzlies an identity, it also gave the city a wining franchise. A reason to believe!
Like most historic events that happen, something was in the works before the greatness could occur. This is just a theory, but I believe there is some truth to my theory.