Brandon Clarke issues 3-word statement after long awaited Grizzlies return

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies
Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

After much speculation and unrest, big man Brandon Clarke officially made his return to the lineup for the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers following a year-long injury-induced absence.

Met with a standing ovation from a pact crowd at FedEx Forum upon his entry into the contest mid-way through the first period, the beloved 27-year-old appeared both excited and prepared to get back to in-game action.

Though he immediately showed off some of the jitters that were expected following such a long hiatus, as he bit on a pump fake by Taurean Prince within his first minute back, soon after he would take and make his first meaningful shot, showing off the strength and athleticism that this team had been missing down in their frontcourt.

Though his presence in the rotation did seem to impact the game early on, with the Grizzlies and Los Angeles trading blows back and forth and kept the score tightly contested throughout the majority of the game, thanks to a 15-5 run to kick off the final period, the Lakers ended up pulling out the hard-fought victory by a final score of 136-124.

Nevertheless, even with this loss, Clarke was still over the moon after finally making his way back to the hardwood, noting postgame that, overall, "it was good" that he accomplished such a feat.

Brandon Clarke dishes on first game back with Memphis Grizzlies

"I'm glad to get that first game out the way. I've been thinking about it for a very long time. I wish that we could have won tonight, but it was fun to play again."

Brandon Clarke

The Grizzlies big would continue on to admit that "during the anthem, I almost teared up low key," as it had come to him then that "we're here actually."

In just shy of 21 minutes played, Clarke went on to post a stat line of 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal and registered the team's highest plus/ minus on the night at +15.

His next shot at seeing action will come Saturday when Memphis heads out to Orlando to face the Magic.