The NBA decided to scrap the Memphis Grizzlies organization last night midway through the third quarter of the team's 2010-2011 opener at the downtown FedEx Forum.
As Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo was dribbling up the court on a fastbreak, NBA commissioner David Stern walked to center court and asked for everyone's attention. The confused players slowly stopped playing and gathered around Stern.
"Yeah, I've got some bad news," said Stern. "The Grizzlies don't exist anymore as of O.J.? You want to make that layup first?"
Mayo attempted the layup, but missed.
"Well, that's fitting," continued Stern. "Anyway, as of now, the Grizzlies don't exist anymore. Just wanted to let you know. Okay then. Have a good night."
Stern then exited the court, left the arena and flew to Sacramento.
"It's disappointing, for sure," said Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins. "But we all kind of saw this coming with the league's financial problems and rumors of contraction. I mean, we've never been good, our attendance isn't great and we're in a small market. I think I prefer to have the band-aid ripped off this way instead of playing out the season with the axe hanging over us."
Grizzlies swingman Rudy Gay says he just wants some answers about his future, considering he signed a 5-year, $80 million deal with the Grizzlies in the offseason.
"I tried to talk to Stern when he was leaving the court, but his security guys stopped me," said Gay. "They told me only NBA employees are allowed to approach the commissioner and that regular fans like me need to stay back. I'm not going to be getting paid anymore, am I?"