'Hoop Dreamers' remember bringing the Grizzlies to Memphis - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Hoop Dreamers' remember bringing the Grizzlies to Memphis

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Rose was one of the movers and shakers behind bringing an NBA team to Memphis. Rose was one of the movers and shakers behind bringing an NBA team to Memphis.
There was a time when pro-ball in Memphis pulled the community apart. There was a time when pro-ball in Memphis pulled the community apart.
An "NBA Now" campaign recruited volunteers to spread their message of hoop dreams, and it was a slam dunk. An "NBA Now" campaign recruited volunteers to spread their message of hoop dreams, and it was a slam dunk.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Twelve years ago the idea of an NBA franchise was pulling Memphis apart. If not for a group of believers, Memphis might still be having hoop dreams.

"When Tony Allen said, 'Grit and Grind', we all that live here know what that means because we do that every day," said Gayle Rose who is part of the NBA pursuit team.

Rose was one of the movers and shakers behind bringing an NBA team to Memphis.

"Twelve years we were really pursuing this team because we believed that it would pull the community together, and there's no question that it's done that," said Rose.

What Rose and other members of the NBA pursuit team did not anticipate was how the Memphis Grizzlies would reflect the personality of the city itself.

"For example, they don't have a star, and they're pulling together as a team and they're grinding out every win," said Rose.

There was a time when pro-ball in Memphis pulled the community apart. In 2001, the $250 million NBA financing package was a hard sell among taxpayers and elected officials.

"Nobody's taking a risk except the taxpayers as I see it," said county commissioner Walter Bailey in 2001.

Heidi Shafer is now on the Shelby County Commission, but in 2001 she was the voice behind a petition drive to force a city-wide referendum on the public financing of an NBA arena.

An "NBA Now" campaign recruited volunteers to spread their message of hoop dreams, and it was a slam dunk.

"We were really proving to ourselves then that we could do with teamwork, what this team's doing right now," said Rose.

The pursuit team is modest about making hoop dreams a reality for a city and its history making basketball team.

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