Tipoff was less than a half-hour away Friday night when Quincy Pondexter bounded out of the team's locker room into an empty hall deep inside FedExForum.

The rest of his Grizzlies teammates were on the floor or heading there, but Pondexter wore dress shoes, dark slacks, a jacket, light shirt and a slender dark tie. Knee injury, you remember. His destination was upstairs, his appointment the now-regular "Pondexter's Points" segment on the pregame television show. Caroline Burleson, a Griz intern, escorted him through the maze that is the path from the locker room to an elevator, playing along nicely when Pondexter became enamored with a Grizzlies piggy bank that was part of a giveaway.

Pondexter turned heads among those walking through the Forum doors as he seamlessly inserted his earpiece and strolled onto the makeshift stage during a commercial break. "Come on in, big fella," TV analyst Hank McDowell said, smiling, as he settled in.