MEMPHIS, Tn–The NBA season will restart in a little more than two weeks.
All 22 teams that will take part are in the NBA bubble in Orlando.
The players, coaches and media are in or have gone through a battery of Covid-19 tests and a quarantine.
And that includes Springfield native and Memphis Grizzlie Anthony Tolliver.
After playing for 11 NBA teams in a dozen years, Anthony Tolliver thought he had seen it all.
That is until March 11th when the basketball league shutdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My contract, my future. All I was thinking about was my family, my kids and my wife. At that time there was a lot less certainty about things. Is the world about to end?,” said Tolliver.
The world is still spinning, and so is the pandemic.
But Tolliver has a new Memphis contract in his pocket and is in the Orlando bubble ready to help the Grizzlies seal a playoff berth.
During the shutdown, Tolliver stayed in game shape at his home.
“Even at 35 I have to go harder then 22 year olds in workouts. It’s in my DNA. I’m blessed to have a half court basketball gym in my house and a weight room,” said Tolliver.
Tolliver started the season in Portland, sipped a cup of coffee in Sacramento, and now is the old man on a young Grizzlies roster.
“This team is super unique in a number of ways. Obviously young. But they don’t play young and reckless. They play disciplined basketball. They play hard,” said Tolliver.
The forward grew up in Springfield and won a state championship at Kickapoo.
He played his college ball at Creighton before starting his NBA journey.
Tolliver has turned that life experience in a positive direction.
He’s part of a group that founded “the grey challenge.”
A way that white and black Americans can understand each other.
“I grew up in a town that’s 94 percent caucausian, white people right. For me it was like, my experience in that town was much different then my best friend who didn’t look like me,” said Tolliver.
Now he wants to effect change with the Grizzlies, and make Memphis be the cinderella at Disney World.
Tolliver:”For me I’m here and ready and in great shape.”