The crowd was smaller than a home game, but the feeling was pretty similar. Thundersticks, screaming, jerseys, thrown t-shirts, and even a playing of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” late in the game all found their way into FedExForum, despite the fact that the Grizzlies were playing two states away.
The night ended in a loss, but the 200-300 fans leaving FedExForum remained rowdy.
“We still winning the series!” came one shout.
“Gonna take ’em on Saturday!” came another.
Grizzlies supporters trudged through the rain Wednesday night to support the team during the second road game of what has already been an historic trip to the playoff.
“This support you have given has made all the guys on the team feel like Memphians,” Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said to the crowd. “Let’s keep it up for Saturday and show the world that Memphis is a foremost basketball city.”
Based on the fact that Saturday’s game is already sold out, plus the enthusiasm and size of the crowd, even with the loss and the rain, Wallace’s prediction may come true.
“This is usually a Tiger basketball town, but you look here at these people, at how excited they are, everyone’s about the Grizzlies right now,” said Chris Claude of Bartlett. “It’s pretty exciting that all these people came out.”
Fans at the party were initially seated in the FedExForum lobby, watching the game on a stage screen that had such poor quality the score was illegible. At the half however, fans in attendance were allowed to watch on the jumbo-tron in the arena, where an NBA Playoff logo sat waiting on the floor.
Fans also flooded the Jack Daniel’s lounge and Grizzlies team store, where supplies of the newly printed playoff shirts were quickly dwindling.