NBA teams in Atlanta, New Orleans and Memphis embrace the culture of their cities

Ja Morant

Ja Morant
Photo: beautiful pictures

At the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, they serve frozen daiquiris, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta there’s a barbershop, at the FedExForum in Memphis they frequent, from the Oscar winning movie The hustle and the flow“Whoop that Trick.”

Fortunately, all three teams are currently in the post-season phase. Second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies are gearing up for their first game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans will have make-up games on Friday. Whenever the Grizzlies are in post-season, their crowds show up, and last night both the Atlanta and New Orleans mobs delivered the energy they’ve sometimes been vilified for not having nightly.

For most teams, it takes a while after the season for fans to really get into the spirit of making the energy felt through TV and hopefully the Pelicans and Hawks will win their games. on Friday, so for at least one playoff round, we can all have the treat of these three unique urban areas that bring all the minutiae to a few games.

The beauty of the NBA is that the games are more intimate. The players aren’t hidden from view by shoulder pads and ball caps, and arenas generally hold no more than 18,000 people. So it’s common to see Patrick Beverley rock the crowd in Minnesota by jumping on a player’s table and tossing his jersey in the stands, or Joakim Noah Run around ardent fans of the court after the triple win in extra time. Legendary sports writer Frank Deford once described the NBA as having more sex appeal than other sports, and I understand where he comes from. Because the fans are so much closer to the field, there are only 10 players at a time, and they don’t wear devices, this gives viewers a better chance of being absorbed in the game as they can see everything. rank. You get the full experience watching the games, and when watching Pigeons, Hawks and Grizzlies play at home, part of that experience is cultural.

Memphis is a unique city for a number of reasons. First, its metropolitan area includes northern Mississippi and western Arkansas. It’s a completely different southern experience than the rest of Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains. On the corner of Memphis, they have some Mississippi blues to go with the barbecuecue and it’s also a city that, as Ja Morant said of his Grizzlies, “doesn’t avoid the smoke, it runs up the chimney.” Bone Thugs & Harmony witnessed it firsthand in their Verzthe battle of uz against the Three 6 Mafia. Never forget Zach Randolph’s career and personality awareness when he first arrived in Memphis. He is now the honorary mayor of the city.

When you first arrive in New Orleans, you’ll look around and ask yourself if you’re still in America. French, Caribbean, and Spanish influences are all transformed into mouthwatering gumbo that you can stroll around all day and never get bored of. This is also where you can find a 3:30 p.m. foam party and buy your own second line parade for $300 if you’re interested. It’s more like a basketball town than you think. The Pelicans’ have averaged more than 90% capacity over a number of years, and that’s with a team that has finished more than 500 times three times since 2010. Additionally, Mannie Fresh and Juvenile perform at halftime of the regular season finale and any team that gives their fans such treatment is fine with me.

Atlanta, this is where I saw a long, peanut butter-colored car roll down the street during Car and Bike of the Year, with the words “peanut butter” on the front. . It’s the kind of venue where there could be a DJ and a karaoke contest at the bar during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and dining outside means a party bus is blasting Migos can intrude on your conversation. This is a place that does BIG things, and the Hawks are sure to follow suit with a stadium renovation – there’s a real club in the arena as well as a barbershop. Atlanta has a reputation for not supporting its teams, but forgive the community as they have other options when the teams are boring. However, take in a United football game or a playoff game against the Hawks. You’ll quickly find that if you give people something supportive, they’ll do it just as loudly as they do anything else.

Three great American cities, all different but all with the same thing, fun. And while last night’s games in Atlanta and New Orleans weren’t nearly as exciting as Tuesday’s Timberwolves and Clippers, the environment at both arenas was hype and, as always, felt very similar. the cities that both teams represent . So I’m going to be cheering for all three teams going as far as I can, because I love NBA basketball, I love having a good time, and I love the fact that these three teams embrace the culture of their cities. them and there can be moments like an entire crowd shouting “Whoop that Trick!”

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