Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Memphis Grizzlies are a National Basketball Association team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The current head coach is Mike Fratello, replacing Hubie Brown (who resigned in November 2004); the team is owned by Michael Heisley. The President of Basketball Operations is former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Famer Jerry West.
- Founded: 1995
- Formerly known as: Vancouver Grizzlies 1995-2001
- Home Arena: FedExForum, 2004-
- Former Arenas: General Motors Place, Vancouver, 1995-2001 and The Pyramid, 2001-2004.
- Uniform colors: Light blue, Middle blue, Dark blue, White, and Yellow.
- Logo design: A blue bear's head, with "MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES" below it in stylized block letters.
- NBA Championships:
The Vancouver Grizzlies inaugurated in the NBA in 1995 alongside the Toronto Raptors. Both teams were symbols of the NBA's growth, and were the first NBA teams to play in Canada, since 1946-47's Toronto Huskies. The Grizzlies were initially composed of players taken from other teams via an expansion draft, and were joined by the Grizzlies first draft pick: Bryant Reeves. The first season for the Grizzlies was typical for an expansion team, and they finished with the worst record in the NBA that year. In 1996, the Grizzlies would draft Shareef Abdur-Rahim as the 3rd overall pick. Despite his solid play, the Grizzlies continued to struggle, again having the worst record in the NBA.
In 1997, the Grizzlies drafted Antonio Daniels with the 4th pick who was largely seen as a bust but the team saw some improvement as it finished in 6th place. However the 1998-1999 season would bring the Grizzlies back to last place, despite drafting guard Mike Bibby with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft during the offseason. In the lockout-shortened season, the Grizzlies would only win 8 games.
After the NBA lockout, the attendance numbers at Grizzlies games began to drop, and the team began losing money. Ownership of the team was transferred a few times, but nothing could stem the tide. The fact that the Grizzlies were not competitive didn't help matters. In 2001, despite earlier promises from owner Michael Heisley to remain in Vancouver, he moved the franchise to Memphis, ending Vancouver's six-year experiment with professional basketball. Many people believe that Michael Heisley had purchased the team with the sole intent to move the franchise. The fact that he was an American from suburban Chicago always fueled those suspicions.
The team relocated to Memphis for the 2001-2002 season. The team named Jerry West as general manager of the team in 2002. West received the 2003-2004 NBA Executive of the Year Award. During the 2002-03 season Hubie Brown was named coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, and won the NBA Coach of the Year Award in the next season. The Grizzlies made the NBA playoffs for the first time in team history in the spring of 2004 as the sixth seed in the West, but lost in 4 games to the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round.
In the 2004-05 season Hubie Brown stepped down as head coach citing health reasons. At the time the Grizzlies had a losing record and West brought in TNT analyst and former coach, Mike Fratello as Hubie's replacement. Since then the Grizzlies have greatly improved and are now in the postseason for the second consecutive season.
Players of note
Hubie Brown (Retired: Induction in 2005)
Not to be forgotten:
- Shareef Abdur-Rahim
- Mike Bibby
- Hubie Brown (former coach)
- Bryant "Big Country" Reeves
- Michael Dickerson
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