Memphis Grizzlies

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Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. The team originated that year in Vancouver, British Columbia and relocated to Memphis in 2001. The team's majority owner is Michael Heisley, who controls a 95% share of the franchise; the remaining 5% is controlled by several local owners, including AutoZone founder J. R. ("Pitt") Hyde, his wife Barbara Hyde, equity manager Staley Cates, and former NBA player and University of Memphis point guard Elliot Perry.<ref>David Williams, Grizzlies partners truly in minority, The Commercial Appeal, March 27, 2008.</ref>

While two other teams in Tennessee (Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators) in the four major North American sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) play in Nashville, the Grizzlies are the only team currently to play in Memphis.

Contents

Franchise history

1995–2001: Vancouver

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}}</ref> The season ended with 15 wins and 67 losses—the .196 winning percentage being the lowest in the whole league. The team saw an average attendance of 17,183 spectators, 14th in the NBA.<ref name=br9596 />

Shareef Abdur-Rahim was selected third overall by the Grizzlies in the 1996 Draft.<ref>{{

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}}</ref> He made an immediate impact playing for the Grizzlies, becoming the team's leading scorer while setting a franchise record of 18.7 points per game (ppg). He finished third in balloting for the NBA Rookie of the Year and was picked for the All-Rookie First Team. By the end of the 1996–97 season, Abdur-Rahim led the team in scoring on 33 occasions, rebounding on 23 occasions.<ref>{{

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}}</ref> and 25th overall in the league.<ref name=br9798 />

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The Grizzlies again had second pick in the 1999 Draft. Despite having a good point guard in Bibby, they selected Steve Francis. He had hoped to be selected first by the Chicago Bulls, and his managers had several times indicated that he was not interested in playing in Vancouver. He relented and briefly considered joining the Grizzlies, but after an incident at the airport, his manager Jeffrey Fried started trying to get him traded. In what became the biggest deal till then in NBA history, involving eleven players and three teams.<ref>{{

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}}</ref> Also Massenburg was sent to Houston, Smith, Mayberry, Rhodes and Ndiaye were sent to Orlando Magic, while the Grizzlies received forwards Othella Harrington and Antoine Carr, guards Michael Dickerson and Brent Price, first- and second-round draft picks and cash.<ref>{{

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}}</ref> and was harassed both verbally and physically by fans when he played against the Grizzlies.

The 1999–2000 season saw Lionel Hollins take over as coach after 22 matches, after Hill had only won four games. The season ended with 22 wins and 60 losses, placing the Grizzlies last in the division. The season also saw a large drop in attendance, averaging 13,899, ranking the team 27th in the league.<ref name=br9900>{{

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In the team's final season in Vancouver, Sidney Lowe was hired as head coach.<ref name=br0001>{{

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}}</ref> Forward Stromile Swift was selected as the second-overall pick in the draft.<ref>{{

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}}</ref> The season ended with 23 wins and 59 losses, finishing last in the division.<ref name=br0001 /> The team's final game at GM Place was against the Rockets on 14 April. The Vancouver Grizzlies' final match was a 95–81 win against the Golden State Warriors on 18 April.<ref>{{

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Relocation

Financially, the 1998 lockout was the turning point for the team. Attendance plummeted from a league average of 16,108 in the 1997–98 season to 13,899 in the 1999–2000 season, which was the third-lowest in the league.<ref name=br9798 /><ref name=br9900 /> Orca Bay started losing money on operations, in part because of a weak Canadian dollar.<ref>{{

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Griffiths sold Orca Bay to Seattle-based John McCaw, Jr. in 1995 and 1996.<ref>{{

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}}</ref> In September 1999, McCaw announced the sale of the Grizzlies, but not the arena or the Canucks, to NHL's St. Louis Blues-owner Bill Laurie for US$200 million.<ref>{{

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}}</ref> He stated that he intended to move the Grizzlies to St. Louis, but the transaction was stopped by the NBA.<ref>{{

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}} }}{{#if: Vancouver Grizzlies back up for sale

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Instead, McCaw sold the team to Chicago-based Michael Heisley for US$160 million. At the time he stated that he intended to keep the team in Vancouver,<ref>{{

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}} }}{{#if: Chicagoan Buys Grizzlies, Says They'll Stay In Vancouver

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}} }}{{#if: Owner of Grizzlies Tours Las Vegas

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}} }}{{#if: NBA Approves Grizzlies' Move

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}} }}{{#if: Buffalo joins cities trying to lure Grizzlies out of Vancouver

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}} }}{{#if: Stakes Raised In Grizzlies Bidding War

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}} }}{{#if: Memphis Grizzlies? It's looking that way

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}} }}{{#if: Anaheim, Pond Still Not Ready to Concede Defeat

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}} }}{{#if: NBA officially OKs team transfer to Memphis

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2001–2008: Memphis and the Pau Gasol era

The Grizzlies and Charlotte Hornets both applied with the NBA to relocate to Memphis on the same day, 26 March 2001. The Grizzlies' request was granted by the NBA. Memphis became the Easternmost city among those of the league's Western Conference teams. By the time the Grizzlies relocated, Memphis-based company FedEx hoped the team would change its name to the Memphis Express. The NBA quickly quashed that idea, ruling that they would not allow teams to be named for corporations.<ref>{{

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In the 2001 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks drafted Pau Gasol as the 3rd overall pick, who was traded to the Grizzlies. After the Grizzlies' first season in Memphis, Gasol won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The Grizzlies also drafted Shane Battier, who quickly became an unofficial spokesman for the team and a fan favorite. However, despite the strong draft class, general manager Billy Knight was let go. After Billy Knight's departure and the 2001–02 season, the team hired former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Famer Jerry West as general manager in 2002, who later received the 2003–04 NBA Executive of the Year Award. After West's arrival the team was changed a great deal from Knight's team, with the removal of Sidney Lowe as head coach after a dismal 0–8 start to the season and a great deal of player movement, with players such as Mike Miller and James Posey becoming vital to the team's success. During the 2002–03 season, Hubie Brown was hired to coach the Grizzlies. Brown won the NBA Coach of the Year Award during the next season when the Grizzlies made the NBA playoffs for the first time in team history in the spring of 2004 as the sixth seed in the Western Conference in a drastic change from being perennially one of the worst teams in the NBA.

However, Hubie Brown stepped down as head coach during the 2004–05 season. At the time of his resignation, the Grizzlies had a losing record but West was able to hire TNT analyst and former coach Mike Fratello to replace Brown. The Grizzlies' record markedly improved and the team advanced to the postseason for the second consecutive season. However, upon reaching the playoffs, the Grizzlies were swept out in the first round once again, this time by the Phoenix Suns. After this season, which ended tumultuously with anger between Fratello and many of the players, namely Bonzi Wells and Jason Williams, the team had an active 2005 offseason in which they revamped the team and added veteran talent. While the Grizzlies lost Bonzi Wells, Jason Williams, Stromile Swift, and James Posey, they acquired Damon Stoudamire, Bobby Jackson, Hakim Warrick, and Eddie Jones. They made the playoffs for the third consecutive year as well.

With their record they owned the fifth playoff seed in the Western Conference and would have to face the Dallas Mavericks, who swept the Grizzlies in 4 games. Following the 2006 NBA Draft, Jerry West traded Shane Battier to the Houston Rockets for their first round pick Rudy Gay of the University of Connecticut and Stromile Swift. Before the 2006–07 season, the Grizzlies suffered a crippling blow when Gasol broke his left foot while playing for Spain in the World Championships. The Grizzlies started the season 5–17 without Gasol, and then went 1–7 while he was limited to about 25 minutes per game.<ref>Yahoo! Sports - Sports News, Scores, Rumors, Fantasy Games, and more</ref> At that point, Fratello was fired and replaced by Tony Barone, Sr. as interim coach. Barone was the team's player personnel director and had never coached an NBA game though he had coached at the collegiate level for both Creighton and Texas A&M being named coach of the year in their conferences three times during his tenure.<ref>{{

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On 18 June 2007, the Grizzlies named former Boston Celtics GM Chris Wallace as the team's General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations, replacing the retired West.<ref>{{

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2008–present: Rudy Gay & Zach Randolph Era

On 22 January 2009, head coach Marc Iavaroni was fired and replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Johnny Davis. To replace Iavaroni, Lionel Hollins was named the Grizzlies' head coach on 25 January 2009.<ref>{{

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On 25 June 2009, with the 2nd Overall pick in the NBA Draft, Memphis selected C Hasheem Thabeet from the University of Connecticut, then selected DeMarre Carroll from the University of Missouri with the 27th overall pick.

On 9 September 2009 , the Grizzlies Signed free agent Allen Iverson to a single year, $3.5 million deal. Iverson had been the subject of some controversy due to the nature of his previous season with the Detroit Pistons, though he stated that he was excited about helping the team, and believed "God chose Memphis as the place that I will continue my career." However, he only played in three games (none of them in Memphis) before leaving for "personal problems." He was then waived by the Grizzlies.<ref name="iverson points">Grizzlies Officially Waive Iverson, "Grizzlies officially waive Iverson", Yahoo! News, November 17, 2009.</ref>

Following Iverson's departure, the Grizzlies gradually improved. With new acquisition Zach Randolph playing at an all-star level, Marc Gasol's improvement and a commitment to defense, the Grizzlies were in playoff contention for much of the 2009-10 NBA season, before finishing 10th in the West with a 40-42 record.

2011 Playoffs

The Grizzlies found their way back into the post-season for the first time in five years during the 2010-11 NBA season after a 101-96 home victory over the Sacramento Kings on April 8, 2011.<ref>"Randolph, Conley lead Grizzlies past Kings 101-96", accessed April 9, 2011.</ref> While in the playoff hunt in February 2011, the Grizzlies traded center Hasheem Thabeet, forward DeMarre Carroll, and a protected future first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for forward Shane Battier and guard Ishmael Smith.

The Grizzlies achieved several firsts in franchise history during the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Entering the playoffs as an eighth seed, the team won their first playoff game in franchise history on 17 April 2011 with a 101-98 victory on the road against the top seeded San Antonio Spurs. Memphis then won their first home playoff game when they beat the Spurs 91-88 on 23 April 2011.<ref>"Grizzlies pull away from top-seeded Spurs to seize 3-1 series lead". ESPN. Accessed April 26, 2011</ref> Finally, on April 29, the team won their first playoff series when they beat the Spurs in game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals 99-91 to win the series 4 games to 2. This was only the fourth time in NBA history that a number 8 seed defeated a number 1 seed, and only the second time in a best-of-seven series (the first two were in a best-of-five series).<ref name="2011serieswin">"Grizzlies hold on, win series 4-2 to stun top-seeded Spurs". ESPN. Accessed April 30, 2011</ref> The Grizzlies' historic season came to an end after the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the team in game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.<ref name="2011playoffdefeat>"Thunder oust Grizzlies as Kevin Durant answers bell with 39-point Game 7". ESPN. Accessed May 15, 2011</ref>

Marc Gasol, Shane Battier, and Hamed Haddadi are free agents after the 2010-2011 season.<ref>"HoopsHype", Memphis Grizzlies Salaries, accessed 1 March 2011.</ref>

Home arenas

  • Vancouver
    • General Motors Place (1995–2001)
  • Memphis
    • Pyramid Arena (2001–2004)
    • FedExForum (2004–present)

Players

2010-11 Roster

Position # Nationality Name
SG 9 [[Image:{{
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Allen, Tony
F 00 [[Image:{{
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}}|{{

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Arthur, Darrell
G/F 31 [[Image:{{
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Battier, Shane
PG 11 [[Image:{{
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Conley, Mike
C 33 [[Image:{{
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}}|{{

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Gasol, Marc
SF 22 [[Image:{{
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}}|{{

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Gay, Rudy
C 15 [[Image:{{
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}}|{{

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Haddadi, Hamed
SG 13 [[Image:{{
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Henry, Xavier
SG 32 [[Image:{{
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Mayo, O. J.
F 7 [[Image:{{
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Powe, Leon
PF 50 [[Image:{{
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Randolph, Zach
G 5 [[Image:{{
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Smith, Ishmael
PG 21 Venezuela Vasquez, Greivis
SF 4 [[Image:{{
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Young, Sam

Franchise and NBA records

Career statistical leaders

  • Games – Pau Gasol (471)
  • Minutes Played – Pau Gasol (16,727)
  • Field Goals Made – Pau Gasol (3,286)
  • Field Goals Attempted – Pau Gasol (6,459)
  • 3-Point Field Goals Made – Mike Miller (737)
  • 3-Point Field Goals Attempted – Mike Miller (1,778)
  • Free Throws Made – Pau Gasol (2,284)
  • Free Throws Attempted – Pau Gasol (3,130)
  • Offensive Rebounds – Pau Gasol (1,187)
  • Defensive Rebounds – Pau Gasol (2,864)
  • Total Rebounds – Pau Gasol (4,051)
  • Assists – Jason Williams (2,041)
  • Steals – Shane Battier (507)
  • Blocked Shots – Pau Gasol (868)
  • Turnovers – Pau Gasol (1,224)
  • Personal Fouls – Bryant Reeves (1,365)
  • Points – Pau Gasol (8,872)

Per game statistical leaders

  • Minutes Played – O.J. Mayo (39.4)
  • Field Goals Made - Shareef Abdur-Rahim (7.43)
  • Field Goals Attempted – Shareef Abdur-Rahim (16.03)
  • 3-Point Field Goals Made – Mike Miller (2.0)
  • 3-Point Field Goals Attempted – Jason Williams (5.38)
  • Free Throws Made – Shareef Abdur-Rahim (5.73)
  • Free Throws Attempted – Shareef Abdur-Rahim (7.15)
  • Offensive Rebounds – Shareef Abdur-Rahim (2.53)
  • Defensive Rebounds – Pau Gasol (7.3)
  • Total Rebounds – Pau Gasol (9.8)
  • Assists – Mike Bibby (7.83)
  • Steals – Greg Anthony (1.83)
  • Blocked Shots – Pau Gasol (2.1)
  • Turnovers – Shareef Abdur-Rahim (3.06)
  • Personal Fouls - Bryant Reeves (3.46)
  • Points – Shareef Abdur-Rahim (23.8)

Individual awards

NBA Rookie of the Year

  • Pau Gasol – 2002

NBA Coach of the Year

  • Hubie Brown – 2004

NBA Executive of the Year

  • Jerry West – 2004

NBA Sixth Man of the Year

  • Mike Miller – 2006

All-NBA Third Team

  • Zach Randolph - 2011

NBA All-Defensive Second Team

  • Tony Allen - 2011

NBA All-Rookie First Team

  • Shareef Abdur-Rahim - 1997
  • Mike Bibby - 1999
  • Pau Gasol - 2002
  • Shane Battier - 2002
  • Rudy Gay - 2007
  • O.J. Mayo - 2009

NBA All-Rookie Second Team

  • Bryant Reeves - 1996
  • Gordan Giriček - 2003
  • Juan Carlos Navarro - 2008
  • Marc Gasol - 2009

Television and radio

The Grizzles appear on television on the cable channel SportSouth, owned and operated by Fox Sports Net as a sister station to Fox Sports Tennessee. The TV crew is Pete Pranica on commentary, Brevin Knight or Sean Tuohy on color analysis, and Rob Fischer on sideline reporting.

On radio, the Grizzlies are heard on WRBO 103.5 FM. The radio crew is Eric Hasseltine on commentary, and Hank McDowell and Elliot Perry on analysis.

Staff

General managers

  • Stu Jackson – 1994–2000
  • Billy Knight – 2000–2002
  • Dick Versace – 2002–2005
  • Jerry West – 2005–2007
  • Chris Wallace – 2007–present

References

<references />

External links

Original Source

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