It's been 5 years since the Grizzlies were last swept out of the playoffs. At the time, the Grizzlies set a record for mediocrity, being swept for the third consecutive season (out of 3 total playoff appearances).
On Sunday, Memphis returns to the playoffs as an eighth seed, battling the four time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, who completed the 2010-2011 season with the second best record in basketball.
Yet somehow, I am encouraged. While there's little hope that the Grizzlies' season will extend beyond the next two weeks, there is something different about these Grizzlies that inspires.
Something that made this season unashamedly entertaining despite modest results.
It's All Heart, Grit, Grind.
So here I am in my Tony Allen Tshirt, in Napa Valley California, purchasing a celebratory beverage to drink when the Grizzlies win their first playoff game in franchise history.