A letter to the anti-50 retirement crew.

Dear Whomever,

Kobe Bryant. Lebron James. Stephen Curry. Magic Johnson.

I can go on and on naming NBA greats who will have or already have their jersey retired by their franchise. These guys have big names. If you walk up to anyone in the United States, at least, and say those names, you shouldn’t receive any confused looks. 

These guys are hard to guard, and are fun to watch. And they definitely deserve to have their number, or if possible, their name retired! They helped make the NBA what it is today, and are no doubt hall of fame bound.

Then you have the guy who not only leads the Memphis Grizzlies in THREE major categories, but he consistently puts together a decent – at least – game on the court. When this guy’s on the court, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

They don’t say “first name 20, last name 10” for nothing. 

His Grit and his Grind makes him an inevitable scorer in the paint. His deadly jumper and post-fadeaways are unguardable. His attitude on the court is fierce, it’s mean, it’s nasty, it’s Memphis. It resembles Memphis. This guy embodies the city. He IS the city. 

He’s Zach Randolph.

However, despite his mean, fierce, scary on-court personality, he’s a very nice guy off the court. It seems that he doesn’t just have a passion for basketball, but for doing what he can to make someone else’s life a little less stressful. He does what he can to make the city of Memphis a better place. 

And he made the Memphis Grizzlies a better team the moment he signed the contract to play there. The Grizzlies did not miss the playoffs during his time here. And I’ll admit, Conley, T.A, and Gasol helped too, but Z-Bo was a big piece. 

For such a young franchise, Z-bo undoubtedly set the bar high for ANYONE who plays Power Forward for Memphis in the future, and he’s set the expectations for the franchise, community wise, here on out.

A Memphis native, and student athlete, Kendal Lewis, was pretty angry seeing people bash the Grizzlies for retiring No. 50, people who obviously do not understand all he has done for the city and the team in his tenure. So, he’s put his two-cents into this letter:

Zach helped put Memphis on the map. He helped take us from a lottery team to a playoff contender. Even though he did play for Los Angeles, Portland, and New York, Memphis turn him into a MONSTER! He’s one of the greatest EVER to put on a Grizzlies jersey. He’s the literal definition of “GritNGrind.” We have nothing but respect for Z-Bo. There are not enough words to describe how amazing he was to Memphis on and off the court. We love you, Z-Bo.

There you have it. For those of you who dislike the retirement of No. 50. Put yourself into the shoes of Zach Randolph. Roll up your sleeves and help take a franchise out of the mud and into the light. Help a team consistently make the playoffs and contend with the best. Help put some light into a city that needs it. 

Oh, you can’t do that? You’re just a non-Memphis resident who happens to be a couch coach? 

Oh ok, then shut your mouth. You have nothing to say.

Sincerely,

TNS.

Photo submitted by Kendal Lewis










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