Jamaal Tinsley's Return: The Most Memorable Game in NBA History

Mike B.Correspondent INovember 29, 2009

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 1:  Jamaal Tinsley #11 of the Indiana Pacers practices for the game against the Seattle Sonics on December 1, 2006 at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. The Sonics won 105-103. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

In 1995, Michael Jordan ended his retirement and returned to the NBA scoring 19 points for the Chicago Bulls.


The following year, Earvin "Magic" Johnson made a comeback as well recording 19 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds for the Los Angeles Lakers.

A game for the ages.

Sure, those were two of the greatest comeback stories of all time, but they simply cannot compete with Jamaal Tinsley's return to the hardwood a couple of weeks ago.

The future Hall-of-Fame point guard, now with the Memphis Grizzlies, played in his first game since the middle of the 2007-08 season.    

Tinsley entered the game with 4:09 left in the first quarter receiving a standing ovation from the excited FedExForum fans. 

Although he failed to score a single point or dish out an assist in his six minutes of action, Tinsley still played a huge role in helping the Grizzlies thump the Los Angeles Clippers 106-91.

Just his presence alone was enough to put fear into the eyes of the lowly Clippers.

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"Man, it seemed like everything was going great for us until Tinsley came into the game," Clippers guard Baron Davis said. "Playing against arguably the greatest point guard of all time made me really nervous. I have to admit I was in awe." 

Tinsley was emotional following the game as he spoke to TNT's Craig Sager.

"You don't know how much I missed this game," a teary-eyed Tinsley said. "Now I see why Michael Jordan couldn't stay retired. I love the game of basketball."   

Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins faced a tough decision on rather to start Tinsley or have him backup All-Star Mike Conley.

"I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to bring Jamaal off the bench," Hollins told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "I definitely didn't want him to react like Allen Iverson did. We can't afford to lose another All-Star."   

Conley will most likely be traded within the next few weeks since it doesn't make since for Memphis to have two superstar point guards on their roster.

The Grizzlies are the favorites to win the NBA championship this year.

The last thing they need is poor team chemistry.    

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