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Old 12-02-2011, 07:06 AM   #26
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All this talk of the ongoing Cleveland Cavaliers 26-game losing streak harkens back to when the Vancouver Grizzlies endured their then-NBA record in-season record of 23 consecutive losses. That happened after surprisingly winning their first two games of their debut regular season (at Portland in the first regular season NBA at the Rose Garden and then their home opener versus Minnesota capped with a Chris King buzzer beater). For a fleeting moment, I thought they would surprise lots of people as an expansion team. But the expansion team realities immediately hit them hard, of course. Incidently, there happens to be one common denominator between the Vancouver Grizzlies and the current Cleveland Cavaliers: Byron Scott. Scott's lone season at Vancouver with that long streak surely steeled him for this unfortunate thing the Cavs are going through. I'm very sure he told them stories of that and how, since many of them were notable vets, coped with that humbling experience that all expansion teams deal with in order to keep their heads up and continue to motivate his players as a defense mechanism.

Yes, that Grizzlies team had a pretty good excuse for being that bad: they were a team in their first year of existence, despite having solid veterans who were admittedly past their prime (Scott, Gerald Wilkins was injured and recovering from the ACL dating from last season, Greg Anthony, Theodore "Blue" Edwards, Kenny Gattison, and Benoit Benjamin) with young players like marquee rookie Big Country and the aforementioned Chris King filling up the roster under a third of the normal NBA team salary cap as they worked to get to know each other better as a team. Though in Scott's case, he was accustomed to winning of course as an oppressive emissary of evil. But the Grizzlies fans still filled the then-GM Place then, eager to see some hot NBA action.
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Old 23-02-2011, 01:34 PM   #27
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Some VERY interesting stuff involving Vancouver and the NBA lately as we approach--can you really believe it?--the 10-year anniversary of the Grizzlies' move from their original home of Vancouver to their current den of Memphis.

Could it really be possible that Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini wants to buy the New Orleans Hornets from the NBA, breaking the little hearts of those who want to see them go to Seattle, a quick 45-minute drive south? Personally, I wish the Hornets would stay in the Big Easy; it has endured enough instability issues in its 23-year existence. The pro basketball support from the fan base is clearly there but not quite the economic right now. Currently, the Canucks are a prime Stanley Cup contender, and Aquilini would like, with some partners to find, generate more revenue and open dates for the Rogers Arena for a NBA return. Funnily enough, Stern recently regrets the Supersonics' contentious move too along with the Grizzlies' one (but regrets won't bring them back).
http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlespo...lobe-and-mail/
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1908929/
http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/c...133/story.html

The world's most livable city, as the Economic Intelligence Council just proclaimed, actually still holds a basketball culture that did indeed got a boost during the Grizzlies' time there. Presently, NBA culture, specifically, still lies in hibernation and not as widespread as the Canucks culture/fanbase after its departure, despite BC native Steve Nash coming back there for Phoenix Suns exhibition games and NBA fans still donning Grizz jerseys. Now some of the important players from Vancouver days like Michael Heisley, Arthur Griffiths, Peter Ufford, and Noah Croom also discuss other things that went wrong. Heisley still loses millions of money on the Memphis Grizzlies. The following Vancouver Sun article reiterates some of the thoughts and issues I have for the city and its prospective return to the NBA family on this thread. Even with its new economic muscle thanks in no small part to the Winter Olympics exactly a year ago. Under better circumstances than what's going on now in Vancouver (which is still a plus), Vancouver could return.
http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/G...606/story.html

Where are they now? Vancouver Grizzlies not-so-illustrious six years edition. Some of these stories on what happened to a few of the players are very interesting. A few actually like Vancouver, outside playing for them. Couldn't get all of them. Only Mike Bibby is still playing actively in the NBA.
http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/H...436/story.html
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:22 PM   #28
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Any extensive losing streak can be painful, grim, and bleak. At least when Vancouver played their first season, an excuse can be made for them in their then-record losing streak of 23. This articles shows from a few of the people who were there how they coped with it after surprisingly winning their first two in Portland and then at home against Minnesota (before stopping the losing temporarily against Minnesota, also at home) like Cavs coach Byron Scott and coach Brian Winters. Neither remember the specifics, as specific memories vanish over time. But Scott drank a lot of Coors Light back then during this!
http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index....d_cavalie.html

I'll get additional thoughts on Vancouver possibly coming back next week.
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Old 29-03-2011, 11:24 AM   #29
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Delayed, yes, but that's OK. I can take my time with this thread as much as I want.

With the Vancouver Whitecaps, co-owned by NBA star and known soccer lover from nearby Victoria Steve Nash, now kicking around the soccer ball as one of the two new teams in the MLS this year and only the second Canadian representative in the league after Toronto FC (and the Montreal Impact coming next year), it's perhaps a good time to see how would the Grizzlies would fare in the Vancouver pro sports pecking order if they were still around now. Any Vancouver sports follower, and is actually admitted here on these threads, surely knows that the Canucks, one of the premier Stanley Cup contenders, are the top dogs in it (bring home Stanley back to Canada!). I would assume, given the strong brand awareness the NBA has, the Grizzlies, would be second with as much extensive media coverage like the Canucks. The Grizz wouldn't have to worry too much about the Whitecaps because they would play at different seasons so that it won't conflict as much with a little overlap. I think the Whitecaps, with its silky-smooth marketing hatched for over two years, would be third because it's such a fresh, exciting--actually a reincarnated version from the NASL and A-League days--thing with some glamour to it and of the fact that the city has such a multicultural population to tap into to connect the sports with (like the sizable Italian, Portuguese, and the growing Latin communities the city has) along with the city's surprisingly strong soccer roots, structure, and heritage. Then it would be the CFL's British Columbia Lions, which are now really getting into the corporate sponsorship thing like having limited revenue streams yet has plenty of passionate fans, despite being there the longest in the Vancouver sports landscape with its familiarity, tradition, and a strong league. Does have a strong brand itself. How are the Lions going to cope and connect with the Vancouver soccer community and of the leverage they have with this year's Grey Cup held there is key. And they have experience dealing with the Whitecaps back when it was in the NASL and won the NASL Soccer Bowl in 1979 while sharing a stadiums during the same time space (the old Empire Stadium and later the BC Place). Lastly the minor baseball team the Vancouver Canadians bring up the rear. I think they'll all flourish with their respective fan bases if each does their thing in marketing and PR right with significant crossover among them.
http://www.theprovince.com/business/...601/story.html

Vancouver gave Anaheim a nice look a decade ago, but talks with the Disney Corporation floundered. Disney held strong opinions about the matter as Heisley looked into moving into the Honda Center (then the Arrowhead Pond).
http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/24/349...a-manager.html

If the Grizzlies were still in Van-City, I think its broadcasting would now just be only on cable, and strongly suspect it would be a combo with Rogers Sportsnet Pacific, TSN, and RaptorsTV (could've been called NBATV Canada if it stayed).
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Old 16-04-2011, 06:33 AM   #30
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A decade has now passed since the Vancouver Grizzlies left for Memphis and played their last game as such when they won over the Golden St. Warriors on the road in Oakland 95-81. Can you believe it if you're a Grizz fan back up in the Lower Mainland? That final one brought a case of both deja vu and irony when they spotted the franchise's first coach manning the sidelines for Golden St.--Brian Winters! Winters took over when Dave Cowens got fired during the season in one of the most notable blunders during the Warriors ownership of Chris Cohen. With that win, the Grizzlies avoided the 60-loss plateau.

Guess it's too much of stretch that being in Memphis isn't all that successful. Sure getting into the playoffs a few, but sporadic, times and having a Coach of The Year in Hubie Brown since moving can count as subsequent improvements. But Memphis, the whole damn franchise, has yet to win a playoff game, let alone a series. This could be the year though where a postseason win is progress. Just wish if it was all still in Vancouver.

Sometimes I wonder what if the Grizzlies hanged on and drafted Yao Ming with the #1 pick in 2002. The Chinese basketball authorities would like Vancouver for it has such a massive Chinese community that would undoubtably support Yao as the public face of the team and forget about Stevie Franchise. Big Country would be relegated to the backup for he would not be as athletic. More next time.
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Old 22-04-2011, 04:10 AM   #31
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Is this some kind of record for % of posts by one poster for one thread and length of time between posts with just 1 person contributing?
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:49 AM   #32
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Is this some kind of record for % of posts by one poster for one thread and length of time between posts with just 1 person contributing?
Maybe so here. But the whole Vancouver-era Grizzlies is fascinating to me since I am a fan of the city, even when they were existing up there in the BC Lower Mainland. More on that later.

So the Memphis Grizzlies not only win their first-ever postseason games in the franchise history, but also their first-ever playoff series too. This team is surely on the rise. Will Michael Heisley reconsider selling the franchise? We'll see.

And the reaction up in Vancouver to this? Muted. Near-silence, actually. Can't really find any reaction online in the local papers like the Sun and the Province to deal with that. Vancouver sports fans are too preoccupied with the NHL's Vancouver Canucks' march to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada for the first time since 1993 as the best contender remaining for it. Also the MLS incarnation of the Vancouver Whitecaps also takes up the landscape. I'm sure there are some remaining Grizz fans there who are happy with this, but they are a small minority. Remember, many are still bitter over the move and betrayal.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:41 PM   #33
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I have lived in Vancouver for nearly a year now and I truly beleive that an NBA team can do well here. Not because the people here like basketball, but because they're a bunch of bandwagon jumping shitbags.
Canucks fever is in the air here but I haven't spoken to a single "Canucks fan" who knows anything about this team outside of the twins, Kessler and the biggest peice of shit on the plantet Roberto Greasyhaired ass faced Luongo.
People here like the Canucks because they're from Vancouver. So I have no doubt that they would support a team and sport that they know nothing about (just like hockey) so long as it has the word Vancouver before the teams nickname.
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Old 24-05-2011, 11:23 AM   #34
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I have lived in Vancouver for nearly a year now and I truly beleive that an NBA team can do well here. Not because the people here like basketball, but because they're a bunch of bandwagon jumping shitbags.
Canucks fever is in the air here but I haven't spoken to a single "Canucks fan" who knows anything about this team outside of the twins, Kessler and the biggest peice of shit on the plantet Roberto Greasyhaired ass faced Luongo.
People here like the Canucks because they're from Vancouver. So I have no doubt that they would support a team and sport that they know nothing about (just like hockey) so long as it has the word Vancouver before the teams nickname.
Vancouver does have a LOT of hockey fans up there with hockey's existence there deeply rooted from the days of the sport's formative years like with the Vancouver Millionaires being the pro team there. It's Canada, after all. But there are plenty of casual ones out there too, who are jumping onto the Canucks' bandwagon because they are so successful in recent years and winning there. There hasn't been this much excitement in Vancouver since 1994 when Pavel Bure, Trevor Linden, and Kirk McLean were the stars. I like the Canucks (including Luongo) and pick them to win it all. Time to bring Stanley back to Canada! They're winning their Western Conference series against San Jose right now.

Back to the Grizzlies, a short video recently appeared on You Tube selling all the excitement of NBA ball to a then-virgin market that was Vancouver with NBA stars at the time like Penny, Derrick Coleman, Dominique Wilkins, Steve Smith, Tim Hardaway, Dan Majerle, and Harald Miner all playfully taunt Vancouver's entry and being ready for NBA basketball as a person or an actual grizzly going through the forest with some basketball references all over.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxtehLDRLsA

Seen some Vancouver Grizzlies snapback hats, some old dead stock and some reproductions, lately at hat stores! I'll wait for more models to hit stores.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:42 AM   #35
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Did you know that Vancouver even had a taste of basketball decades ago? It was actually semi-pro as pro basketball was still building a foothold in the United States, to say nothing of Canada and the short-lived Toronto Huskies. It was the Vancouver Hornets in the Pacific Coast Professional Basketball League and fared better record-wise and the gate than the Nighthawks and Grizzlies (the former, not the later in the Grizzlies' case), even made the playoffs. Be decades later to say pro basketball return there when the dismal Nighthawks arrived for one season in 1988.
www.apbr.org/pcpbl.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_...couver_Hornets
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Old 14-07-2011, 10:32 AM   #36
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One contributing factor that hasn't been mentioned much in the Vancouver demise of the NBA lockout lied in the 1999 lockout. As we know, Vancouver is not exactly a basketball hotbed and wasn't back then, as it is in the entire Western Canada. Whatever momentum and goodwill the Grizzlies earned up to that point with solid home fans' attendance got squandered with this. In such a virgin market with such a very sporadic history of pro basketball, it's tough to rebuild what was lost. As many fans were new to NBA basketball, Vancouver got disgusted with the ugly labor strife wiping out half of the season and started to turn away and rejected the league in protest. They again couldn't get out of last place at 8-42 that 1998-99 season.

I wonder did the Grizzlies players attempted to work out and practice on their own in an effort to build team chemistry during the workout?
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Old 25-08-2011, 12:06 PM   #37
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Western Canada, to say the least, when it comes to basketball, is not a hotbed for the sport. And this serves as another major factor why Vancouver didn't really hold onto the Grizzlies for even half a decade. If it was like Indiana, Kentucky, and North Carolina does to it at the grassroots, there would be a greater appreciation already in place. As I made note on previous posts on this thread, Vancouver's pro basketball history before and since the Grizzlies (and this is also true of pro basketball in Western Canada), even when it didn't actually play like in the case of the CBA's Grizzlies, has been sporadic at best and not very good nationally. While there has been some talent coming out of it, it hasn't been harnessed and developed to the point where the pro game of basketball there can be sustained instead of said talent heading elsewhere. One has to look at who won CIS men's basketball titles up to 1995 to understand what I'm talking about. By western Canada, I'm talking about British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Hockey is THE sport in Canada, and will continue to be so, especially out west, where there is a romanticizing of the sport weaved in its national identity.

Only 15 times up to 1995, the year of Vancouver's arrival, did the title went to universities that came from those provinces. These include the Alberta Golden Bears claiming back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995. Before that, Brandon enjoyed a threepeat in the mid to late 80s. Victoria Vikings of course went on a celebrated 7-straight championship run starring the likes of legendary coach Ken Shields and star (and later Canadian national team member) Eli Pasquali that defined the 1980s CIS men's basketball. UBC Thunderbirds was the first from that region to win it in 1970 and again in 1972. The Thunderbirds have been a lengthy title drought ever since. You would think Victoria's dynasty would provide a much-needed boost to BC basketball and pave the way for the Grizzlies to deepen the basketball culture. If it did, it was fleeting. That was a good opportunity dropped in retrospect. Maybe was it because of the fact that a team from the lower tip of Vancouver Island at a ferry ride away from Vancouver was dominating much to the gnashing of the teeth to those in the Lower BC Mainland? It surely wasn't a Vancouver area school that was doing this.

To be sure, the coolness of the NBA global brand in the 1990s brought awareness to western Canada residents, a majority of which weren't hardcore basketball fans to begin with; it was also the glamour of seeing those freakish athletes in action. Being an NBA metropolis at the time brought its set of intangibles. It granted Vancouver further major league status in North America. Yeah, as Bucky says, there are a lot of bandwaggoners who were more than likely casual fans that were curious of that glitzy endeavour existing in their midsts. Still it was some solid exposure to the NBA. In its own way, the Canada West schools did contribute. But it's never like the level of AUS schools that helped cultivate the sport in Canada in a manner that was appreciated and people are passionate about in Atlantic Canada to this day, like tremendously successfully hosting for so many years in Halifax the men's CIS Final 8. Hosting and organizing the CIS Final 8 out west certainly would've helped grow the sport there. But where would it have played? Maybe Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum or nearby Agridome at the PNE, Saskatoon's Saskatchewan Place, Winnipeg Arena, Edmonton's Northlands Coliseum, or Calgary's Olympic Saddledome. Had all that happened, the Vancouver Grizzlies could've taken care of itself and developed a strong following across western Canada, regardless of how they fared on-court.

As far as the current pro basketball prospects in Vancouver are concerned, there's some hope in the coming years with the development of the National Basketball League Canada about to hit in November. Assuming if it has staying power by then, Western Canada's chances for teams will come no earlier than 2013. Time needs to made for prospective owners to negotiate with the arena management, local government officials, and basketball movers and shakers in those cities and provinces. Not to mention the fact the league seeks to cut down travel costs that brought down several domestic Canadian pro sports leagues over the years. Because of this, it would perhaps be prudent on those would-be owners' part and of the league's to have a cluster of NBL Canada teams based out in Western Canada. Here's hoping Vancouverites would rekindle their interest in pro basketball after the Grizzlies' somewhat bitter departure.

What if Vancouver held on and got the #1 pick in 2002 and selected Yao Ming?
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:11 PM   #38
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If Vancouver get an NBA team again, I'm moving there.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:40 PM   #39
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It should work, it should have worked before

The Chinese (basketball's a yellow man's game) population there in Van is huge

I dunno, but basketball just agrees with Chinese people

The Toronto Raptors are around because Toronto's got a solid Chinese population
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:27 PM   #40
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It should work, it should have worked before

The Chinese (basketball's a yellow man's game) population there in Van is huge

I dunno, but basketball just agrees with Chinese people

The Toronto Raptors are around because Toronto's got a solid Chinese population
Maybe we should arrange a Chinese-based NBA season during the lockout.
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Old 15-10-2011, 03:39 AM   #41
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George Lynch recently spoke about tasting the better food in Vancouver, minus the food preservatives used so much south of the border, and going constantly to Seattle to see family, despite not taking advantage of the city more becuase of his basketball duties. Locals in BC took exception at the time to his comment about going to Washington State to buy potato chips.

Cuonzo Martin is now the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, a program that going to have a hard season and likely the next. He's notable because of the fact Martin has the shorterst amount of time playing for Vancouver.

The last coach of the Vancouver Grizzlies, Sidney Lowe, is back in the NBA as one of Tyrone Corbin's assistant coaches for the Utah Jazz after getting fired at his alma mater NC St. following a disappointing five-year run with two NIT appearances to his name and a above-.500 record.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:08 AM   #42
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Finally it's here: this 1999 NBA Team Up PSA stars Vancouver Grizzlies star Bryant "Big Country" teaching local Vancouver kids basketball and having fun with it. This was after his massive contract and the lockout.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8uSA4Iai2U

On this day in NBA history in 1995, the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies made their official debuts as being the first non-US based NBA franchises since the Toronto Huskies were a part of the original group of franchises in the NBA (then known as the Basketball Association of America). Vancouver started their first game out in the west coast, but not in Vancouver. It was in Portland and spoiling the official NBA opening of the Rose Garden with a stunning 92-80 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Benoit Benjamin had a team-high 29 points and 13 rebounds for Vancouver. Their next game was their home debut at the GM Place (now Rogers Arena) and won over the Minnesota Timberwolves with a Chris King tip-in at the buzzer 100-98 in overtime in front of 19,113 delirious pro-Grizzlies fans to go 2-0 to start the season. That, and the Raptors easily defeated the New Jersey Nets 94-79 in their NBA debut at the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) filled with 33,000 fans. Both historic games were shown on CTV in Canada.

Sadly, it was all downhill from there for Vancouver.

Vancouver, of course being an expansion team, went on to lose the next 19 games before beating Portland again in OT to stop it (would've been stopped earlier if Vancouver held on and upset Chicago at home like Toronto did before MJ put on a show). And then, from February to April they lost 23 in a row, showing their typical expansion prowess once more. Before that dismal streak, they did held off the Miami Heat 69-65 at home. They finished with the league worst 15-67 while Toronto went 21-61 and had Damon Stoudemire became Rookie of the Year.

Oh, what could've been in the Canadian NBA derby. Don't forget the Naismith Cup the two battled over.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:49 AM   #43
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Lately at my sports retail job, I noticed a small disturbing trend in some customers. It involves not just the Vancouver Grizzlies. It isn't the various styles of Vancouver Grizzlies snapback caps that a sizable amount of guys are wearing that come into my store--some styles are reproductions from way back when, others new like the script lettering one that Sports Specialties made famous from 1986-1994 (an all-time personal fave style of mine). Nor is it the retro cool appeal the Grizzlies (and other pro and college teams) have now. What is of issue of me here lies in the fact that many of these people who purchase these caps DO NOT KNOW A LICK ABOUT THE VANCOUVER GRIZZLIES. For the record, my store does not sell any Vancouver Grizzlies caps; all of the NBA caps we sell happened to be the Bulls, the Celtics, the Heat, and the NDCELE caps. I discussed this issue with one guy the other day at the store who happened to be wearing one of the reproduction Vancouver Grizzlies caps. We both came to an agreement that not many of these people know much about the franchise's time up there. Do they know about the notable players that played there, the coaches, the arena the Grizzlies played in, the uniforms, the history of that franchise, the owners, etc.? Have they ever heard of Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Mike Bibby, Bryant "Big Country" Reeves, Mike Dickerson, Benoit Benjamin, Ashraf Amaya, Greg Anthony, Otis Thorpe, Rich Manning, Gerald Wilkins, Anthony Daniels, Pete Chilcutt, Cherokee Parks, Lawrence Moten, Chris King, Othella Harrington, etc.? In a word, no.

A potent numbers of our customers are fashion-oriented and are looking something hip and cool and match what they are presently wearing--some guys are way too damn fashion conscious for their own good :angry:. Those snapback caps (not all of them are, though), I think, will become a fad like the retro jerseys that Mitchell & Ness jerseys were a decade ago. The teams with their previous logos do make money off of this, but a lot of these people aren't knowledgable or appreciative of them. Here's what funny: case in point, I observe these kind of customers saying, "Gimme the "P" hat! Gimme the "C" hat! Gimme the "T" hat!" and not know who those teams are that sport them (often in reference to MLB teams that multiple teams that begin with T, P, and C in different styles); their knowledge about sports, pro and college, is limited. So with Vancouver, it might as well be ancient history. In some of their defense, they were a little too young when Vancouver was playing. Even with ESPN being so ubiquitous in recent years, some can't instantly ID these teams unless it's a big one (like the aforementioned established NBA teams that is winning consistently and have superstars) or based in their hometown.

And that is such a shame. If you're wearing that stuff like a Vancouver Grizzlies cap, I sincerely hope that you take the time to explore more about these franchises and their logos beyond the the caps they wear. I know there ARE plenty of those who do. Don't get me wrong: I'm glad the Vancouver Grizzlies are getting a second chance of sorts (just not on court, though), and it's getting out there in terms of awareness. I don't expect people to know about defunct/minor teams and leagues. Though that would be impressive; in fact, that would have to be known to others. Yes, Mitchell & Ness still makes the retro jerseys. Because the fear that I have in this is how many who do sport them will discard them as they move on to something else for a fad. I think that's not just displays a disposability in our culture but also reveals a shallowness on their part.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:33 PM   #44
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Brief Vancouver Grizzlies VTV (Vancouver Television) TV game intro circa 1999-2000

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhMYYuJQq4o
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Old 19-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #45
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Maybe we should arrange a Chinese-based NBA season during the lockout.
You go to a pickup court to play ball anywhere in the world 85 + % of people who play basketball are Chinese/ Asian

Yet! All the pros are all african american/ whiteys
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Old 25-04-2012, 11:27 AM   #46
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After that embarassing elimination of the Vancouver Canucks, holders of the NHL's President Trophy for the best record and most points (y'know the minor premiership), at the hands of the eight-seed Los Angeles Kings in five games, does it kinda makes you wonder that Vancouver sports fans wished they still had some NBA Grizzlies action to distract themselves from that disaster and hopefully were in playoff contention?

Oh wait, they got the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps and later the CFL's defending Grey Cup champs British Columbia Lions, not to mention the minor legaue baseball Vancouver Canadians to take care of that. Still, some NBA ball wouldn't hurt.
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Old 24-08-2012, 11:08 AM   #47
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Time to travel back in time to 1995 when Vancouver was starting from scratch with the NBA Draft up in Toronto, the other Canadian city stepping into the NBA that year. TNT covers Big Country coming to the other BC with the first NBA college draft pick at #6 of the two Canadian expansion teams--Toronto had the other at #7. Nice guy but injuries and questions regarding his work ethic did him in. Everybody in the Vancouver Grizzlies organization was so optimistic back then...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVMngK66_Gw

A BCTV report on the very first official Vancouver Grizzlies game in 1995 at Portland's then band-new Rose Garden, stunning the Trail Blazers with a win to start the season 92-80.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70kAIWEKpbo

Shareef Abdur-Rahim's radio interview on Vancouver's Team 1040 AM reminiscing about his Vancouver days and how he still enjoys the city along with his job as a Sacramento Kings assistant GM.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAbgppaxVcs&NR=1
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Old 31-08-2012, 11:35 AM   #48
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Vancouver PG Mike Bibby in a :30 spot for the Grizzlies that apparently aired on British Columbia TV back in the final season in Vancouver that was 2000-2001 under the campaign "Here. Now."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGY2H_ptn7I
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Old 18-09-2012, 09:41 AM   #49
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In Shareef's radio interview on Team 1040 AM on YouTube, he makes a very interesting thought regarding the young team the Vancouver Grizzlies had at the time on 10:20 by saying if the young team was allowed to mature and develop further chemistry among themselves in 2000. Vancouver would turn the corner if Reef, Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, Othella Harrington, Bryant Reeves, and Stromile Swift had more time together and healthy. I think the key person was Dickerson of all the players mentioned; he was the glue guy for the Grizzlies' rotation. He was a very good player for them with some length, size, a shooting touch and defense. But he was injured at time. Lionel Hollins, had the interim coaching tag was removed and stayed longer without being removed by incoming new ownership, would be the best coach for them, I think. If only Big Country didn't get overweight and stayed healthy without those back issues. If those players and Hollins were allowed to be together for 1-3 more years, Vancouver, I'm convinced, would become a rising power in the West; we've seen what had happened in their first few years in Memphis, so, using that as a guide, I think NBA postseason play in Vancouver would be accomplished and perhaps win a game if not a series. Even if a deal or a free agent pickup was made here and there.

Admittedly and already mentioned here, the Western Conference, and the whole NBA, was really tough with lots of turnovers in terms of personnel, players and management alike. We could've been talking about Vancouver like we're talking about OKC now. The Vancouver Grizzlies players, for they were young at the time, could've developed a collegiate enviroment in such a new,fresh place that is not totally familiar with pro basketball that would make NBA players come to play in. In 2000-01, if everything was alligned a playoff puch would be possible. But then, the young Grizzlies team would still learn valuable lessons about making a strong committment to playing defense during the homestretch and consequently lose tight games to more experienced teams with a low-seeded playoff spot at stake as among one of 5-6 of those such teams. After that, they'd get better in the next few subsequent seasons and may surprise some teams in pushing them in series as they get Vancouver, and maybe all of western Canada, residents pumped for some playoff action.
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Old 24-10-2012, 10:36 AM   #50
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Found this very interesting study from the Conference Board of Canada today. This is about how the population growth in many of Canada's top 28 cities (or CMAs, for Census Metropolitan Areas) from Toronto on down would become more receptive of more pro sports franchises based there within the next 35 years in the NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS, and the CFL, as long as the Canadian loonie and the Canadian economy both remain consistenly strong. In this study the sports future looks very bright for Canada.

Vancouver, with its projected population growth of 1 million during this span thanks to the growing Asian populations that adore basketball in those communities, could very well see the return of the NBA to a population base of 3.5 million by then.

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/press/...ranchises.aspx
http://www.conferenceboard.ca/report...iefing-14.aspx
http://www.conferenceboard.ca/report...riefing-1.aspx

CTV's full event broadcast of the historic 1995 preseason Naismith Cup, the first, between the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors at the now-demolished Winnipeg Arena, home of the WHA/NHL's original Winnipeg Jets (now Phoenix Coyotes), when both entered the league back then. In an "East meets West" all-Canada NBA rivalry from two different parts there. Made sense to have the first one more centralized in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Interesting that the Naismith Cup never was played in both Toronto or Vancouver during this rivalry (it almost got played in Vancouver in October 1998 but the NBA lockout had other ideas). After Winnipeg, this Naismith Cup traveled to Calgary, Halifax, Edmonton, and finally Ottawa. Toronto has won all but one of these preseason meetings (when Vancouver won in 1996 in Calgary 80-77).

Following the Vancouver's relocation to Memphis in 2001, the Naismith Cup was left for dead until it got resurrected in 2003 with the Raptors later facing a top European club like Maccabi Tel Aviv or Panathinaikos that would tap into Toronto's multicultural population. All of the Naismith Cup games were based at the Air Canada Centre until 2005.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEsyDGqhdE4

PS: I'm wearing a red Nike Canada Basketball practice T-shirt as I write this.
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