Grizzlies' retro uniforms to make home debut

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Grizzlies are going old school as they prepare to take the court against the Utah Jazz Sunday night.

When the Grizzlies faced the Clippers in Los Angeles last month, they took the court wearing the retro green and gold colors of the Memphis Tams, one of the basketball teams out of Memphis' past.

"The Tams were the professional basketball team here in Memphis, '72 to '74," said Grizzlies spokesman John Pugliese.

The Tams were owned by Charles O. Finley, who also owned the Oakland A's.  As the story goes, Finley thought it would be great to have both teams wearing green and gold.

Pugliese said when Finley adopted the name Tams, he was going for a name that fans all around the Mid-South could identify with.

"The name Tams stands for Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi," he said.

The Grizzlies first debuted the retro uniforms in their road game against the Clippers on national television.  Some sports commentators took a disliking to the uniforms, but Sunday night's game against the Jazz will be the first time the uniforms will be worn in front of a home crowd.

Grizzlies fans seemed to be more favorable.

"I think the jersey is beautiful," said one Grizzlies fan.  "Not as good as the blue and gray, but I think it's real nice."

The first 5,000 fans at Sunday night's game will get a free green and gold Memphis Tams hat.

The Grizzlies will wear the retro uniforms several other times this year as part of an NBA promotion to honor teams of the past, including St. Patrick's Day.

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