A look back at the Vancouver Grizzlies.



The Vancouver Grizzlies were founded in 1995. At that time, there were two expansion teams located in Canada, which were the Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors. During the Grizzlies tenure in Vancouver they never kept a decent record, and would not compete to be a serious playoff contender. One thing that was a positive during their time in Vancouver however, was their jerseys. The Vancouver jerseys are one of the most noticeable and well-liked “throwback” jerseys that are on the market today. The Memphis Grizzlies even brought them back in the 2019-2020 season, in which they also changed their court during multiple “throwback” nights throughout the year. Ever since the Grizzlies have left Vancouver, they have yet to get another NBA team. People would like a team in Vancouver still in Canada, just like how there is a want for a Seattle team to return. It is also believed that if a team moves to Vancouver they will fail just like the Grizzlies did during their time there. During their time in Vancouver, the Grizzlies did not make any big memories or news as an NBA team. They were not a very successful team, and in their worst season they won just 15 games. Since things were not going well, the move from Vancouver started to make a lot more sense. Currently, the Grizzlies have a good amount of fans showing up to the games, and with a better and younger team with promise, they are more entertaining to watch as well.


While in Vancouver, the Grizzlies played in General Motors Place, now Rogers Arena. They only played a short 6 seasons in downtown Vancouver, Canada, before relocating to downtown Memphis, Tennessee. In their first season, the first coach of the Grizzlies was Brian Winters. He coached a total of 125 games and finished with a record of 23-102. Their other coaches included: Stu Jackson, Brian Hill, Lionel Hollins, and Sidney Lowe. Hill was the only coach from this group who coached more than one season, and finished with a record of 31-123. Not one of these coaches finished with a winning percentage of over .300. Although they never had a decent record, the Vancouver Grizzlies had some decent players on their roster throughout their brief time. Greg Anthony, Michael Dickerson, Bryant Reeves or “Big Country”, Mike Bibby, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim were some of the few players who really made a name for themselves on the Grizzlies, and some were able to perform well after departing the team too. In the Grizzlies 6 years in Vancouver, they won a total of 101 games and lost a total of 359. Their attendance was never high because of how bad their record as, and their lack of ability to compete for a playoff position. Even though they had some talent on the team throughout the years, it was not that fun watching them play at all due to their lack of competitiveness on the court. The players began to get frustrated over time since they kept losing the majority of their games. It was hard being a Grizzlies fan around that time, and even shortly after the move to Memphis. However, with a rebuilt team, and a city that is in love with the team, the players in Memphis seem to enjoy

playing at the FedEx Forum and representing their city.




Having little attendance, the Grizzlies failed financially and were not able to pay the price to rent the stadium. Due to this, they had to be relocated in 2001, where they moved to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies. The first couple of years in Memphis seemed to be just the same as it was in Vancouver, losing seasons and not being able to compete for a playoff push, but as time went on the Grizzlies started changing and began getting into the playoffs as well. In Vancouver, they never made the playoffs throughout their 6 years being there. It only took a few seasons in Memphis to turn this around however, and the first time they made the playoffs was in the 2003-2004 season. Although they got swept, this was a great accomplishment for this young franchise who had just recently relocated. The future was on the rise and hope began to build throughout the city of Memphis. There have also been talks that the Grizzlies could move again, but no plan has ever been set out for that to happen. If they do where would you think they would move too? I honestly think if they did maybe Seattle would be the best location.


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