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Grizzlies Insider: Memphis players give thanks this week
Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Hi, there. As we enter the holiday season, we wanted to thank you, our readers, for helping us create a brand new newsroom for Memphis and supporting a new generation of journalists. And we wanted to give something back. So, whether you are a subscriber or not, you are getting the subscriber-only version of this article. We hope you enjoy it. (Want to become a subscriber? Go here.)

Jaren Jackson Jr. couldn’t pick just one thing. He plans to feast on Thursday night. 

What is his favorite Thanksgiving food?


“Turkey with some stuffing and mac and cheese with some collard greens and some corn bread and sweet potato,” Jackson said. “You can’t just pick one thing. Hey, it’s Thanksgiving.”

Yes, he calls it stuffing – not dressing. Jackson wasn’t even aware southerners referred to the dish as dressing until someone told him Tuesday morning. 

“Like, salad dressing?” he asked on Tuesday morning inside FedExForum. “(Dressing) is a Southern thing? Well, I’m clearly (Northern) then.”

Taylor Jenkins’ favorite Thanksgiving food? Turkey gravy. 

Ja Morant’s favorite dish? He also couldn’t pick one.


“Mac and cheese, a little bit of yams, rice with gravy, baked chicken and a turkey leg,” he said. 

The Grizzlies have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.

On Wednesday, the team of players, coaches and support staff partnered with MyTownMiracles to assemble Thanksgiving baskets for 100 families across the city. Each included ingredients for a full Thanksgiving meal and kitchenware to prepare it.

“Being alongside families that are in poverty, often times the giver gives things that they think a family needs or wants, but the family has no say in what they are getting or doing,” said Whitney Williams, executive director of MyTownMiracles. “This was curated very intentionally. The recipes come from (B.J. Chester-Tamayo) at Alcenia’s restaurant in the edge district. Alcenia’s is a world-famous restaurant. So the thing that is so sacred to me is that she only cooks her mother’s recipes at the restaurant. We are providing families with family recipes, not a store-brand concept.”

Many of the ingredients will last long past Thursday, which will allow families to cook through the holidays. The Grizzlies were happy to help. 

“I’m thankful for my family, man,” Morant said Tuesday. “They’ve been here my whole journey. I have a little girl, and she is my motivation. She has made me who I am. She is the reason I keep going, the reason I wake up every morning and go put in the work, to make sure all of them can have everything they want. They run my bank account dry, but it’s okay.”

Jackson said he is thankful to be playing, which wasn’t promised when he had offseason foot surgery. He’s also thankful to spend time with his family, which is closely tied to basketball. His father, a former player, is an assistant coach for the G League Westchester Knicks. Memphis visits the New York Knicks on Sunday. 

By then, the Grizzlies hope they can be thankful for health. They are still without Desmond Bane, who will have his toe sprain evaluated again next week. They also hope Ziaire Williams, who hasn’t played this season due to patellar tendinitis, can begin one-on-one contact in practice. 

“His offloading to loading plan has gone really well,” Jenkins said. “We’ve been able to get him in some scripted practices outside of the team. He is getting close to the contact phase.”

More from your Insider:

Grizzlies rally falls short in final seconds against Kings

The Grizzlies rallied in the fourth quarter, but a comeback bid fell short in the final seconds against the Kings. 

Grizzlies after comeback that wasn’t: ‘Flush it out’

Rather than dwell after loss to the Sacramento Kings, Memphis trudges on in a long 82-game NBA season.

Why is Kenneth Lofton Jr. in the G League? Grizzlies have ‘a reason’

Kenneth Lofton Jr. said he tries not to pay attention to the Grizzlies fans calling for him to play minutes at the NBA level.

Box score: Kings 113, Grizzlies 109

NBA box score for the Tuesday, Nov. 22 game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings from FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.

Ja Morant upgraded to questionable ahead of game vs. Kings

Ja Morant, who called himself a cyborg, was a participant in the Grizzlies’ morning shootaround four days after spraining his left ankle. 

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