Thursday, July 29, 2010
This is really hard for the city right now. Lorenzen Wright, former University of Memphis forward/center and NBA star who played for the Los Angeles Clippers & Memphis Grizzlies was found dead in the Southeast Memphis yesterday with multiple gunshot wounds.
This is definitely a tradegy to the city. Outside of his death, the man himself was someone that I believed that could have been one of the best role models that came from the city.
Lorenzen Wright was the first millionaire that I knew of outside of Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway.
They both were from the 'hood mane.
Not the "rap" 'hood. The real 'hood.
Now between them I had my favorite at that time.
Now, with Penny Hardaway it was an obvious decision for me a kid to side with him because he represented a person who transended North Memphis to become a basketball star. But, Lorenzen (who was from South Memphis) still got that same love because he came from the same struggle that we all came from as Black youths growing up in Memphis.
But, it's really sad mane to see Lorenzen go in this fashion though. Even still, many of our brothers leave this type of way in the streets of Memphis everyday.
But, not Lorenzen mane.
I remember getting some floor seats with my uncle to go to see the Memphis Grizzlies in the playoffs a few years ago. I was right in the thick of the people who were actually season ticket holders so you know I was excited.
During one play, Lorenzen must have did something on the floor because I said aloud "Mane, where's Lorenzen folks at?". All of a sudden, like 20 of his family members said in unison, "We here!!!!"
That's what type of man Lorenzen was to me. He was a giver and always remembered home.
Now, Lorenzen is really going home.
Maybe, that's too much for many people to carry or understand mane. But, Lorenzen...at least to me, was a star more than any NBA jersey could show.
He represented moving towards your dreams and he didn't have to forsake home to do so. Reports stated before his death that he was having money issues and other problems before his death but that didnt matter.
He was a father of 6 children and they are left without a father.
But, I want his children and family to know that Lorenzen Wright was and STILL is a legend in the city of Memphis. In every 'hood mane.
I was listening to Devin Steele on K-97 FM yesterday and he said, "When Lorenzen Wright got signed...it felt like the whole city got signed."
In a way, we did get signed. We all felt that positive recognition and shine from Lorenzen's ascent to NBA stardom and it gave others the courage to leave home and pursue their dreams.
Lorenzen showed me that Memphis was bigger than the hood and that may be a reason that I ended up moving to Los Angeles later in my life. I will never know. But, I do know that when I saw Penny do it, it was big. But, when Lorenzen did it...it was REALLY big.
In conclusion, Lorenzen's memory with me will always be a positive one. He was South Memphis' shining star. He was a big part of the city and he will be missed.
Much love Lorenzen. We ALL loved you mane.
We will see you on the other side.
*throws up the South Memphis sign*