Lang’s World: The Memphis before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the MidSouth

Not a creature was stirring, not even an NCAA compliance mouse;

The Foamposites were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that a new five-star recruit soon would be there;

The Tigers were nestled all snug in their beds;

With visions of March and a big dance in their heads;

And ma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my 901 cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap (or at least, one morning of sleeping past 8 am),

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I stumbled out of bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

As fast as Norvell went to Tallahassee for the big ACC cash.

The moon on the breast of the tiny bit of snow,

Reminded me that in Memphis, schools would probably be closed for at least a week, don’t you know.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,

With a driver with swag and style and throwing up lobs,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Ja.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Jaren! now, Jonas! now Jae and Dillon!

On, Tyus! on, Grayson! on, Kyle and Brandon!

To the House of Hops! to the Pinnacle Level!

Now let it fly! Let it fly! Let it fly all!”

As potholes that pockmark the streets of midtown,

Challenge the shocks and suspensions of Caddys and Crowns;

So up to the housetop the Grizzlies they flew

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Ja too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The drawing and kicking of each fastbreak alley-oop.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Ja came with a bound.

He was dressed all in Beale Street Blue, from his head to his foot,

And his Adapts were customized with artwork to boot;

A bundle of highlights he had flung on his back,

And he had dozens of moves down deep in his bag.

His eyebrows had parts—how they twinkled! how merry!

His threes were roses, his dunks like a cherry!

His smile bloomed wide just like a bow,

And the mustache on his face was as thick as the snow;

This being the current century, there was no pipe in his teeth,

But this also being Grind City, he wanted all the smoke, and it circled his head like a wreath;

He was skinny and quick, a right jolly young elf,

And I cheered when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

let Jaren know to cut backdoor without any plays said

Ja spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings with points and assists; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, took a seat, grabbed the reins,

And away they all flew like he was dunking on Baynes

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

“Happy Christmas to Memphis, and to all a Grizz night!”

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