Grizzles annual MLK Jr. day celebrations honor his impact on Memphis

WATCH: Grizzles annual MLK Jr. day celebrations honor his impact on Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — MLK Jr. Day is always a special one for the Grizzlies.

The Memphis Grizzlies played in front of a national television audience Monday for their annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day game.

On this day, though, it’s not just about the game. It’s a time to celebrate Dr. King and his impact in Memphis and all over the world.

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Former NBA player Caron Butler, who was one of four individuals to receive the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award, said he feels the impact of Dr. King just by being in Memphis.

“Different type of energy. It’s legacy work. It’s tradition. My emotions that I felt when I went to the museum, I was happy, I was sad, I was angry. I had mixed emotions, but I was more informed when I left there,” said Caron Butler

Butler was joined by basketball hall of famers Robert Parish and Sheryl Swoopes and NFL legend Doug Williams.

“It’s special for numerous reasons. I got the phone call. They reached out to NBA representative and told me that I was being honored. With the name and legacy attached to reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, it was powerful man I was just in awe,” said Butler.

Butler felt this awe during his visit to the National Civil Rights Museum.

“Me and Sheryl we had a moment where we cried on the balcony where he was assassinated. It was a lot to take in at the time.”

On a day that means so much to so many, it was a time of reflection for Butler.

“When you talk about integration. When you talk about the sit ins. You talk about everything that they had to overcome. Our people., Our ancestors. We’re the new ancestors and re extremely fortunate and beneficiaries of their hardships.”

Monday the Grizzlies’ 7 game winning streak ended after losing to the New Orleans Pelicans 126-116.