Zach Randolph missed a jumper, so Marc Gasol careened in to slap the rebound away from the Golden State Warriors. Randolph missed another shot, so Gasol sprinted over and saved the ball as it was bouncing out of bounds. The Grizzlies then fed Gasol in the post. He threw in a running hook, then ran down the court, flexing, passionate, triumphant.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Memphis Grizzlies have returned. And not a moment too soon, may I add.

"I'm just proud of the effort for 48 minutes," said head coach Lionel Hollins, after his Grizzlies finished off the Warriors on Friday night, 99-93. "It was a baby step."

It was also quite a night for Hollins, who set the tone with an impassioned pregame address to a larger-than-usual media gathering. Hollins had let it be known that he would be making a statement, discussing the controversies that roiled his team in the last few weeks.

You know the particulars of those controversies, certainly. The two trades. The ensuing losses. The perception that Hollins wasn't on board with the way the new Grizzlies ownership group had reshaped the team.

So Hollins spoke to the media for nearly 20 minutes, at times emotional, at times feisty, but all the time focused on a single theme.