This is where Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph comes in. The glitch surfaced just days after the news Randolph was leaving for the Sacramento Kings. During his eight years on the team, he’s given tens of thousands of dollars to pay the utility bills of needy Memphians. And thus, the rumor was born: Randolph had made a $1 million parting gift and all you needed to do was make a payment at a kiosk. So at kiosks in gas stations and convenience stores across the city, tens of thousands of people waited for hours in lines, hoping that a generous baller had done what public policy has not: Reduce their energy expenses.
On a typical Saturday, about 800 customers pay their bills at these kiosks, utility officials said. On this Saturday, 28,800 payments were made. “Seeing those people waiting in line, that would be a visual indication of how high these energy burdens are,” said Ariel Drehobl, a local policy research analyst for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
After spending time in New York for the shows, how does fashion differ in NYC and Memphis? I live nine months in Memphis and then off-season in Columbus, Ohio, where there aren’t even high-end department stores nearby. [My wife] Mary was actually joking that H&M was just coming to Columbus this summer, which tells you that the ability to dress to your individual taste is kind of difficult. I have a stylist, so that helps keep me fashion-forward, but most of the time I can really just go around town in my Grizzlies gear and fit right in! That’s what made [New York Fashion Week: Men’s] so fun—I finally had a reason to push the limits with fashion!
And after Game 2 in Memphis, Olshey gave the team the option to stay the night and fly home on the team charter, or return to Portland on their own. Take it for what it’s worth, but only one player wasn’t on the team charter: Aldridge. “I didn’t want to stay in that hotel one more night,” Aldridge said on Saturday. “So I bought my own ticket and flew home.” Having stayed in Memphis hotels, I don’t halfway blame Aldridge for wanting to get back to Portland as soon as possible. But it also doesn’t scream brotherhood, or togetherness, either.
Hours before his team executed a wire-to-wire annihilation in Sunday’s 100-84 Game 1 playoff victory against the Portland Trail Blazers, Gasol stood in a tunnel after the team’s morning shootaround and spoke of how far he’s come with the franchise he anchors. “When I first got here, this team was playing in the Pyramid,” Gasol told ESPN.com of the time he arrived as Pau’s 16-year-old younger brother. “They’re supposed to be turning that building into a Bass Pro Shops now. Can you believe it? I’ve been here when this team used to win 20 games, and I’ve been in the stands when they used to lose every game in the playoffs.”
Memphis came out of the gates strong and dominated the competition in the 10Best Readers’ Choice category of ‘Best NBA Destination.’ The Memphis Grizzlies make their home in FedEx Forum near Beale Street, and the lively nightlife in the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll adds to the overall fan experience. In a close race for the runner up spot were Oklahoma City (home of the Thunder) and Dallas (home of the Mavericks), but OKC came out ahead in the end. Denver and San Antonio rounded out the top 5.