THE REST — 30 May 2013
Bill Simmons Says Grizzlies Fans Were Tense Because Martin Luther King, Jr. Was Shot in Memphis

I don’t quite understand the Bill Simmons hype. I was confused when it was announced that he would join ESPN’s NBA Countdown studio show. And often times, during that show, I get the sense that Magic Johnson doesn’t always care to hear what Bill Simmons thinks.

But that’s neither her nor there.

Simmons recently made some comments about Memphis and Dr. Martin Luther King that caused me to scratch my head, and gives me more reason to wonder why he’s a part of that crew. Now, I’ve never been to Memphis so I’m not qualified to speak to the city’s feelings regarding Dr. King’s assassination, but I’m still struggling to see the connection.

According to Uproxx, Simmons made the following comments on his BS Report Podcast

“I didn’t realize the effect [The MLK assassination] had on that city…I think from people we talk to and stuff we’ve read, the shooting kind of sets the tone with how the city thinks about stuff. We were at Game 3. Great crowd, they fall behind and the whole crowd got tense. They were like, ‘Oh no, something bad is going to happen.’ And it starts from that shooting.”

I would have to imagine that the majority of fans at FedEx Forum in Memphis watching Grizzlies games were not around during Dr. King’s time, and are too young to think this deeply about the matter. Also, it’s silly and ignorant to tie a tense feeling that arises during a basketball game with the assassination of someone like Dr. King.

But again, like I said, I’ve never been to Memphis.

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Kevin Burke

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