MEMPHIS, Tenn. — They were 141 days overdue, but the Grizzlies finally got to play the Portland Trail Blazers.
Though the game ended in an overtime loss for Memphis, it was just good to have basketball back.
Tee Morant, for example, may not be able to hug his son Ja right now.
"I wish y'all could feel my pain," he said. "The thing is we FaceTime several times a day. You know, it's not the same because I can't put my hands on him."
But at least he can lay his eyes on him, watching from home as Ja continues to blossom into an NBA superstar.
"I will put it this way. Y'all will probably be able to hear us from our house," Tee said.
Molly Morrison, a Grizzlies superfan and owner of the popular @MadeinMemphis1 Twitter account, cannot go to a game, but that hardly mattered Friday.
"I literally have been waiting for this day for months," she said. "I didn't know if it would happen. I woke up before my alarm this morning. I've just been like sitting here waiting."
Even if the Grizzlies are over 800 miles away from FedExForum, Grizzlies play-by-play announcer Eric Hasseltine can sit in his usual seat on the top row of Section 104, to call the game remotely.
"It's basically normal, it's just an empty building," he said. "This is what we do for a living and this is what we love to, so I'm excited to be able to hopefully bring some entertainment to our fans and those listening throughout our radio network."
And while the Grizzlies lost in overtime to the Trail Blazers, from this day forward, every minute of basketball should be seen as a win.