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Hey LeBron! Winning cures everything, right?

LeBronJames-600What a difference a few years make...not to mention a couple of NBA Championships.

Remember not long ago when LeBron James was considered "the enemy?" Well, at least in the eyes of the citizens of Cleveland and those who thought he gave the city a raw deal. I'd never seen such backlash over someone changing employers in my entire life...and I've had nearly forty jobs.

It seemed you couldn't turn to any channel at any given time without hearing someone griping about Lebron leaving Cleveland and signing with the Miami Heat. Now, according to an ESPN Sport Poll, LeBron has actually topped Kobe Bryant as the league's most popular player.

Tailgate spots at Tiger Lane go on sale Friday for 2013 SH Classic

10shclassic-200Tickets and tailgating spots for the Southern Heritage Classic presented by FedEx will go on sale Friday (July 12) at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster locations.

The Southern Heritage Classic featuring Tennessee State University and Jackson State University is set for Sept. 14.

To purchase tickets, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, go on line at www.ticketmaster.com or visit a local Ticketmaster location.

‘Hard way’ Joerger ready to grit and grind as Grizz new head coach

coach-David Joerger-2-600Saying he came up "the hard way" – 10 years in the minor leagues – David Joerger made his Memphis debut as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday.

During a press conference at the FedExForum, Joerger, who had been an assistant to Lionel Hollins, said his minor-league experience ran the gamut – from being the general manager and head coach to lining up the halftime entertainment and picking up the towels.

"I have an appreciation for being in the NBA," said Joerger, "and I have an appreciation for being in this position."

When it’s the Reign, ‘serious ballers’ try to stand out

ABA-3-600Sidney Adkins, head coach of the ABA's Bluff City Reign, approaches tryouts for the team looking for players that will fit into a winning mix.

That was the case again last Saturday (June 8) during a tryout-session at Carver High School.

"(We're) looking for guys with good defense skills," said Adkins, "and if the guys are good, team-concept players."

Parting (with OUR Coach) is such sweet sorrow

Hollins-bowling-600How do you really say goodbye to someone who has meant so much to so many?

What words could really comfort the man who endured the losing seasons of the then-Vancouver Grizzlies, but yet came back to coach the Memphis Grizzlies to the Western Conference Championship?

How does new ownership really explain to the loyal legion of Grizz Nation how "differing views" turned into the non-renewal of a contract and the firing of a coach?

Hollins’ exit leaves many with sick feeling

Lionel-Hollins-600That warm, fuzzy feeling that many Memphians had about the Grizzlies historic run to the NBA's Western Conference Finals gave way to a knot in the stomach on Monday.

The condition change came with news that Lionel Hollins is out as head coach. According to Jason Levien, CEO and managing partner of the Grizzlies and FedExForum, there was a "thorough internal process" before Hollins was let go.

Hollins' contract officially expires at the end of the month.

More than sports in the lesson plan at Orange Mound Community Center

trophy-1-600Children's smiles, fidgets and careful steps greeted me last Sunday (May 26) at the Orange Mound Community Center (OMCC) Athletic Appreciation Banquet.

A number of children and their families walked into the ballroom at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis full of anticipation. They came to celebrate the theme, "Hard Work Pays Off".

The children (ages five to 16) had worked hard, on and off the court. Extended family and surrogate mothers and fathers were all in the mix ready for the celebration. The pride was evident.

Do we really believe or is it just bluff?

IGrizz-The-Fans-600For the past month or so, Memphis, and perhaps the entire Mid-South has been on a fantastic ride called the Grizzlies 2013 Playoff run! It was as thrilling as any carnival ride ever brought to the Delta or Mid-South fairs, wrought with ups, downs, twists and turns. There were comebacks from two games down, overtime victories, overtime losses, dagger threes and powerfully throw down dunks, thrilling victories and disappointing defeats.

Through it all something great happened.

Born was something more exciting, more potentially impactful and certainly more important – this community came together, embraced its identity and stood proudly on the world stage exclaiming, "We Believe!" and "We Don't Bluff" as we "Whooped" every "Trick" the opposition threw at us (at least until the San Antonio series, where the Spurs opened up a can of whoop trick on us.)