Ja Morant has turned Memphis Grizzlies into the NBA’s new FOMO team

The plan was practical, in theory.

I couldn’t go to all three basketball games on three-consecutive days. Not with two young kids. 

So an executive decision was made. I went to see Bronny James on Saturday night at Collierville High School and then went to the Memphis Tigers exhibition game against Christian Brothers on Sunday afternoon at FedExForum because that was the only way to watch them. 

I skipped the Grizzlies’ game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night since I could watch it on television.

By the time Ja Morant corralled that errant alley oop pass from Tyus Jones and somehow slammed it through the net with just his left hand, contorting his body in midair like only he can, my lapse in judgment had become obvious. 

An unmistakable feeling settled in at halftime, and only got worse when Morant and Desmond Bane engaged in an unprecedented duel with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of the Nets. This wasn’t just playoff intensity in October. It was history. I could’ve and should’ve been there and I wasn’t, a sensation that has become increasingly inescapable in Memphis. 

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The fear of missing out, or FOMO as it’s known in social media parlance, is a concept that gained traction over the past decade, so much so that it’s now recognized as a word in the Oxford English Dictionary and inspires clinical studies by psychiatrists and neurologists. One such examination last year defined it as “pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.”

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