Of course we’ve all heard of the tragic murder of former Los Angeles Clipper, Atlanta Hawk, Memphis Grizzly, Sacramento King and most recently Cleveland Cavalier, Lorenzen Wright. Looking around on the Internet you can find all kind of theories as to why Wright was killed. According to a blogger on dimewars.com “…there are rumors are circulating of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Those close to the 13-year-veteran of the NBA say that he was experiencing financial difficulties and suicide is a consideration of the authorities in the case.” Then you have the Washington Post and ESPN.com reporting that Lorenzen Wright’s ex- wife received a threatening visit from three gun men six weeks prior to his death.
Regardless of the reason, the tragic fact remains that a 34 year old father of six is no longer with us. Now, of course I didn’t know Lorenzen Wright from “The Man in the Moon” (if such Man really exist), but, the Memphis Grizzlies and the larger Memphis community did. The Grizzlies released the following statement shortly after the discovery of Wright’s body.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Lorenzen Wright. We lost a member of the Grizzlies family. Lorenzen delighted fans on the court with his passion and off the court with his generosity in a Memphis community that watched him grow throughout his playing career at Booker T. Washington High School, the University of Memphis, and the NBA. On behalf of the entire Memphis Grizzlies organization, we would like to express our sincerest condolences to Lorenzen’s family during this difficult time.”
While the Grizzlies and the Memphis community will no doubt continue to mourn Wright’s death and never forget him as a person or player, they to have to move on with the 2010 NBA season. The Grizzlies have not made the playoffs since 2006 when they were swept by eventual Western Conference Champion Dallas. Although there aren’t any players on the current Grizzlies roster that played alongside Wright in Memphis, maybe they will look back at his playing days with the Grizzlies and use the success the team had back then as motivation.
During Wright’s five seasons with the Grizzlies, the franchise made three consecutive playoff appearances. The August 4th memorial at The Fed Ex Forum is indeed a great way for the Grizzlies organization to pay tribute to Wright. But I think the players dedicating the 2010 season to Wright along with earning a birth in the 2011 NBA Playoffs would be an even better tribute.
About the Author
Written by Jason Lee
Born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, I've been a sports fan probably since I was about 9 years old! A 2002 graduate of Mount Union College (Alliance, OH), I've had the opportunity to cover some great high school football on the radio in both Ohio (working with WHBC in Canton) and in West Virginia (I currently work with Bristol Broadcasting in Charleston). I also keep an on-line journal/blogs on my own website.