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Old 31-10-2012, 11:17 AM   #51
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Didn't know this until yesterday when reading online. But local Vancouver businessman Nelson Skalbania actually tried to get Vancouver a taste of the NBA back in the early 80s. Interesting. This was just before the time when Toronto was starting to make some noise back in the expansion derby that ultimately saw Charlotte, Miami, Minneapolis, and Orlando. In all likelihood, this proposed Vancouver franchise would've played at the Pacific Coliseum. But Skalbania, best known in the sports circles as being owner of several ice hockey franchises in the WHA and NHL including the Indianapolis Racers, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and the BC Lions, and the NASL's Memphis Rogues and Calgary Boomers, and minor league baseball's Vancouver Canadians, had failed. Apparently, the NBA wasn't quite interested back then in expanding into Canada when there were rapidly-growing markets Statesside that hadn't been tapped like Florida.

Steve Nash wouldn't rule out being part of a possible Vancouver NBA ownership once his playing days are over. He's still upset over the Grizzlies' move.
http://www.vancouversun.com/Lakers+s...419/story.html

VanCity Buzz reader Jason Bains puts his 5 reasons why Vancouver will return to the NBA:
http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2012/05/5...-to-vancouver/
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Old 19-12-2012, 08:23 AM   #52
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Got C$13,000 to spare on a NBA regulation size basketball court? The old Vancouver Grizzlies basketball one, still in great shape after 12 years, is up for sale in Richmond, BC, where the Grizz used to hold practices. Coincidently, Memphis got itself a new basketball court of its own this season at the FedEx Forum that totalled $200,000.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/basket...ft-for-memphis
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:04 AM   #53
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Let's assume Vancouver eventually gets an expansion franchise for the purposes of this post. Perhaps this new owner, someone like a Francesco Aquallini of the Vancouver Canucks if he expresses interest or maybe Arthur Griffiths' return, wanting to learn from the lessons of the past of Stu Jackson's ill-advised moves, decides on a GM that is willing to be experimental rather than conventional like other sports GMs and thus could afford to as an expansion franchise. One who can use the basketball version of moneyball. I was thinking of someone like Houston's Morey with a little twist of Oklahoma City's Sam Presti, given that Vancouver will be considered a small market team by US standards.

This GM must posess a certain amount of astuteness with respect to what players will be exposed first in the expansion draft and later in the annual NBA Draft. Will this GM, as I perhaps assume, will maintain some measure of convention like nabbing a center with size being at a premium. With Dwight Howard being the prototypical center right now, defense-oriented, chisled, fast, and strong, not necessarily bulky like Shaq, could he get someone close to that in the expansion but more likely out of college/international draft unlike Bryant Reeves? Or will he look towards a rookie PG floor general or a power/small forward (Think KD)? I think for one thing, he MUST avoid relying on over-the-hill players with expensive contracts like Gerald Wilkins, Byron Scott, Benoit Benjamin. Over time, if Toronto is an indicator now, could we see Vancouver focus on nabbing international players like Bargnani, Calderon, Garbajosa, Kleiza, Turkoglu, Bellinilli, and Valanciunas, and maybe have a solid NBA-calibre Canadian on the roster? Definitely I think that will happen given that Vancouver prides itself as an international and multicultural city like Toronto, and most foriegn players don't care about those intangibles like being in a major market for visibility and a hot nightlife like so many young NBA players are (though Vancouver's certainly got that like the infamous Roxy and many fabulous restaurants). Veterans are important for the experience, showing the ropes, and clubhouse demeanor and control, so there will be a few of them. A coach must serve as a teacher but also have some charisma to help sell the NBA again following some lingering bitterness. Overall, I think there must be set philosophy with a focus on youth and athleticism over a four-year plan and stuck to.

Not sure exactly what the Vancouver Grizzlies did during their time up there but I don't recall them going outside the BC Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island with Victoria venturing and building awareness and a following into the other western Canadian provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba over the years much. Like striking radio deals in cities like Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Lethbridge, and Saskatoon.

More Grizz promos recently found on YouTube:

Please try to stop Othella Harrington from singing again like Barry Manilow's "Mandy". Oh it hurts!:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdlOHnv-T3k

Vancouver's center Tony Massenburg expresses his desire to actually remain and be in Vancouver and pledges to do the dirty work and takes things out by "taking it to the hole" when things get rough for the Grizz in this "Here. Now." TV spot from the final season in Vancouver. Could've been more all-around defensively in retrospect. The centers Vancouver mostly had were strong at one or two things but weak at another in their game. Because of this, Vancouver never got a chance to develop a strong defensive presence:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=256_WNjv1R8

He was perceived as lazy, but if everything went right, the Louisiana-born Stromile Swift would've been the much-needed strong defensive presence the Grizzlies sorely lacked when he came in what was Vancouver's last season. Things would've been better off if Swift gotten more on-court experience as a rookie during the course of the season swatting away shots (and even prevented more shot attempts just by his presence) and had Massenburg as a backup, as Vancouver could start establishing itself a defensive mandate it otherwise didn't have. This is him introducing himself as a rookie about earning respect in another "Here. Now." campaign TV spot.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAPBV5fBwh8

Make that "Here. Now Gone."
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:50 AM   #54
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Sports Illustrated went on a NBA Pacific Northwest trip for the just-now released issue, capturing the excitement of the solid possibility of the Supersonics returning and the Portland Trail Blazers as the only team in the region.

But what is of interest here is that Vancouver is mentioned in it. And I'm glad that city is mentioned liberally as it looks at how Vancouver moved on since the 2001 Grizzlies move. One of our few Canadian posters here, Doug Eberhardt, aka Ebehoops, was interviewed for this piece, and I think, was the only one repping for Vancouver as one of the few remaining Grizzlies fans in BC. Its portion reminisces all of the miscues, ownership issues, and fish-out-of-water situations/culture shocks for the NBA players from the start. Oh yeah, and the constant losing. In it, Doug doesn't think Vancouver will return to the NBA. As I write this, the link to this story isn't yet available (just did SI.com and Google search). When it is--and it should take a few days--I'll post it here. Plus I need to re-read it. If you happen to be reading this Doug, please share all of us here your thoughts on the piece.

Apparently, the Vancouver Grizzlies practice court in Richmond is still up for sale and has garnered significant interest in the hundreds of buyers.
http://www.canada.com/sports/Four+wa...693/story.html

Mike Bibby, the last remaining Vancouver Grizzlie, is presently out of the NBA.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:50 AM   #55
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Former Vancouver mayor Art Phillips, leader of the "Save The Grizzlies" campaign, dies at age 82
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...lips-obit.html

Former Vancouver Grizzlies PA guy Al Murdoch, now co-PA for the Vancouver Canucks, would love to see the NBA back in Vancouver more regularly. He also says the atmosphere at the General Motors Place (now Rogers Arena) during Grizzlies games from 1995-2001 was "electrifying" with great presentation. That voice in that EA Sports' NBA Live series? He did that too.
http://www.theprovince.com/life/with...630/story.html

This analytical case study piece on why Vancouver couldn't stay on in the NBA treads many of the same subjects that I already have here (and will continue on). Disagree on the Vancouver Grizzlies unis in the first few seasons of existence. Though to be fair, things did change starting with the then-third jerseys in 1999
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/5...s-a-case-study

VanCityGrizzlies presently is working on the final touches on a minifilm called "Advance"
about Vancouver's time in the NBA and its struggles with lots of hours and work put into this. Not to mention efforts in trying to get another franchise. The following is its trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGfT65yrx20

Former Grizz Eric Murdoch has been in the news lately speaking out about now-former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice video angrily shoving, degrading with homophobic slurs, yelling, assualting, and being abusive to his players on camera during practices, when those videos were made public last week after Murdoch was director of player development that ESPN released on Outside The Lines. Needless to say, Murdoch was shocked and disgusted.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbaYqcMMZ6A
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Old 18-04-2013, 09:06 AM   #56
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Few Americans aren't aware about the more Westminster-style government that BC has as Canada is a Commonwealth nation probrably had a hand in Vancouver's move to Memphis back in 2001 or at least its inactivity. Then again, I doubt seriously many of the MPs and the BC Premier (Glen Clark?) at the time were big basketball fans. More likely hockey fans than basketball ones. There wasn't much pro-Grizzlies support from that entity outside from the late former Vancouver mayor Art Philipps--very little, in fact. Methinks the British Columbia government kinda viewed the Grizzlies as strictly a private enterprise affair with minimal impact to the local economy that something else will eventually pick up the slack. Besides, they had bigger fish to fry at the BC Parliament in Victoria. No doubt a stronger Canadian loonie--and on-court progress--would help the Grizzlies stay. Still, strong political and grassroots support currently exhibited like we've see now with both Sacramento and Seattle wouldn't hurt. As now the most-prominent Vancouver Grizzlies fan these days Doug Eberthardt notes in the following piece from the Vancouver Province, there wasn't a groundswell of widespread support from facets of Vancouver and in BC "because the NBA washed its hands of Vancouver" at that point. Outside of criticizing local businesses, David Stern did nothing to rally local support to encourage them, Eberhardt says. Civic support at the city level was additionally non-existent then.

Save for the Hunt The Owner website and a few Grizz fans stepping onto the court in the team's final home games back then I recall, there was no mass rally in the thousands outside the GM Place (now Rogers Arena) demanding the team be saved. All of this made it easy for the NBA and its Board of Governors approving Vancouver's relocation. UBC finance professor (and fellow former Vancouver Grizzlies season ticket holder) Aziz Rajwani offers some insights about how the NBA operates franchises and relocates them in contrast to how fast-food chains do. This piece even says Seaspan owner Dennis Washington tried to step forward in luring the NBA back to Vancouver around the Hornets may have thought about it. But it was long after John McCaw sold his Grizzlies and later its departure.

In sum, Vancouver, if you want a more prosperous and longer-lasting NBA franchise should that happen, support it with all of your important factions! http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Se...209/story.html
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Old 26-04-2013, 05:02 AM   #57
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You could say that, though it's not mentioned as much, the 1998 NBA lockout did contribute to the Grizzlies' demise there in its own way, going back to what I said back in July 2011. Yes, attendance at the GM Place dipped from 1998 onward to 2001 but still very solid as the lockout soured the fans. It was pretty iffy then with the franchise losing money in US dollars with its currency exchanges at a time when the Canadian dollar was weakening and the British Columbia economy was on a downward slide. Michael Heisley was losing a reported $40 million in Vancouver's last season there in 2000-2001. One reason the NBA supported this, with Memphis' ready-made facility there waiting for them within days (as Memphis was working on the FedEx Forum's construction), was to cut your losses and get on with it immediately as they worked to get out of the seemingly massive hole the NBA was in. Didn't take very long for the NBA to accept.

http://aroyalpain.com/2013/04/23/nba...ion-mold-fits/
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:09 AM   #58
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TSN's Raptors and NCAA basketball analyst Jack Armstrong believes Vancouver could get another NBA opportunity and do it properly under Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini if Seattle returns to the NBA as an expansion franchise with VanCity balancing out the number of teams. But I think we should wait until a new CBA is hammered by both players and owners and a TV deal before expansion is an option. Armstrong admits it's a bit of wishful thinking on his part.

http://www.tsn.ca/nba/story/?id=422144
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Old 17-05-2013, 07:14 AM   #59
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I said it before last year at this time. I'll say it again now. Don't Vancouver sports fans wish they still had the Grizzlies now that they're in the Western Conference Finals with their beloved Canucks shockingly swept from the Stanley Cup Playoffs and are seeming going into rebuilding mode?

LA Times Bleacher Report sums up the Vancouver Grizzlies time
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2...uver-grizzlies
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Old 23-05-2013, 04:04 AM   #60
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No matter how Francesco Aquallini and his company wants to deny or downplay this publicly, there's no secret he wants to bring the NBA back to Vancouver and create his own Vancouver version of Toronto's Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (NBA's Toronto Raptors, NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, MLS' Toronto FC, AHL's Toronto Marlies). It's called Canucks Sports and Entertainment with, for now, the NHL's Vancouver Canucks and now the AHL's Peoria Rivermen (having just acquired ownership of the minor league hockey franchise from the St. Louis Blues). Just how things are done in the NBA; alleged with the Pacers, Kings, and Hornets. Either he was declined or wasn't interested in the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps.

http://nbavancouver.wordpress.com/20...hase-nba-next/

Now that Seattle won't be getting the Kings, what would this mean for Vancouver? Not a lot for right now. Had the Kings made their way to Seattle, Vancouver basketball fans would travel to Seattle to Supersonics games at the Key Arena and later to that new Seattle SoDo Supersonics Arena, since the city is a 45-minute drive. But I think it could water down interest for its own NBA team again for now. Or maybe just gradually rekindle interest in it. Unless the NBA decides to expand there again. That could happen in the next several years after the NBA strikes a new lucrative NBA TV deal.

NBA Vancouver's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NBAVancouver

Doesn't really deal much with the Grizzlies when they're in Vancouver. But the following Facebook page does update on all the latest goings on and news in the local Vancouver and BC in general basketball scene in addition to Canadian basketball, and sneaker news. So yes, there is a local basketball culture there and is thriving even with the Grizzlies no longer present since 2001. Even before their arrival, there WAS some BC basketball. Just not as accessible as there is now.
Vancouver Basketball Network Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VancouverBasketballNetwork
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Old 31-05-2013, 07:17 AM   #61
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Vancouver's jerseys were ranked 6th by NESN, the New England Sports Network, among the top ten best NBA 1990s jerseys.
http://media.nesn.com/2013/02/hornet...nba-jerseys/6/

Back to Vancouver real estate entrepreneur Nelson Skalbania and his efforts to bring the NBA to Vancouver. Turns out in this Sunday May 1, 1994 Seattle Times article, just after Arthur Griffiths and his group were "shockingly" welcomed into the NBA with the Grizzlies, that the NBA under then-commissioner Larry O'Brien was actually thinking about taking the NBA outside of the USA back in 1982 by wanting Vancouver for a long time and offered Nelson Skalbania an expansion franchise for Vancouver with consultation from Seattle sporting mogul Bob Walsh. At the NBA league meetings in Los Angeles then, Skalbania was offered to pony up $16 million dollars, the NBA expansion fee back then, for the privilege of NBA entry. When asked if the money was in either US or Canadian dollars, he was told it was in US dollars. Skalbania, Walsh says, quietly backed off and it was "embarassing". At the time, many NBA teams were losing money just as the NBA was starting to hit the popularity stratosphere with Bird and Magic and certainly could use that amount of incoming expansion money to divvie it up amongst themselves to survive.

But the climate wasn't quite ready to embrace expansion just yet, let alone Canada, as the NBA worked to get its house in order. Could the NBA in Vancouver worked earlier in 1982? Maybe, but we'll never know. What this Vancouver 1982 team would've been called? One thing's sure: it would be interesting to see in many levels. But western Canada never is known to be a real hotbed for fervent basketball support like Toronto is. Basketball in Vancouver wasn't as accessible back then as it is now--and this was even when the Victoria Vikings under legendary head coach Ken Shields were THE dominant CIS team racking up CIS titles annually with his stable of players like Eli Pasquale a ferry ride away at the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island in Victoria, BC's capital. Vancouver would have that in its favo(u)r, but Victoria is NOT Vancouver. Don't think there were a lot of basketball hoops in Vancouver homes then, though they surely existed.

Ultimately, we should be all glad that Skalbania did not give Vancouver the NBA back in 1982, even when he took out ads in local newspapers to drum up interest in an expansion franchise, unless he had a posse of prospective minority owners behind him to assure there won't be cash flow issues. His track record in pro sports was already sketchy. Back then, Skalbania was coming off of a manic sports franchise buying spree that ultimately did him in, as this Fun While It Lasted entry about the NASL's Calgary Boomers attests. Over a frenzied period of more than a year, he bought and purchased the NHL's Atlanta Flames and moved them to Calgary, bought the AAA baseball Vancouver Canadians and the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, bought and moved the NASL's Memphis Rouges to Calgary and named them the Calgary Boomers (lasted for a year in 1981). He even attempted but failed to purchase the Seattle Mariners. In short, by the time Vancouver could have the NBA as an expansion team, Skalbania would've hyperextended himself financially; it was way too much for him to handle. He was desparately trying to compete and keep up with his buddy Peter Pocklington, owner of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers and NASL's Edmonton Drillers. Had Edmonton got the NBA or Pocklington offered to be part-owner of the Vancouver team, Skalbania would jump in. By that time in 1981-82, his real estate empire was collapsing because of Canada's skyrocketing interest rates and his string of pro sports investments became money-losers like the Boomers and ultimately lost them all by 1982 in this epic collapse (two of them, the Boomers and Alouettes, eventually ceased operations in a span of a few years). He declared bankruptcy after debts close to $30 million in December 1982.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:03 AM   #62
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I'm finally going to try and deal with at last in depth the missed opportunity of Vancouver's failure to attract the booming Asian communities in its city to the Grizzlies, something that I will conduct in parts. At the time of Vancouver's official arrival in 1995, Vancouver's population was just over 1.83 million with a growing amount of immigrants coming from the Pacific Rim, almost entirely of those from Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Japan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Indonesia. But much of the attention came from the China/Hong Kong and South Asian realms. With the political uncertainly of Hong Kong's re-absorbtion into China in 1997 looming, a good number of HK residents with plenty of money headed mostly into the Commonwealth nations, where the reciprocal status with then-Commonwealth Hong Kong and connections made immigration guidelines easier to enter Canada than with the USA.

Canada runs on a "points" system, allowing immigrants to arrive if they have desirable factors such as graduate degrees, training, funds to start new businesses and language abilities. According to statistics compiled by the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong, from 1991 to 1996, "about 30,000 Hong Kongers emigrated annually to Canada, comprising over half of all Hong Kong emigration and about 20 percent of the total number of immigrants to Canada." The great majority of these people settled in the Toronto and Vancouver areas, as there are well-established Chinese communities in those cities. After the Hong Kong handover, there was a sharp decline in immigration numbers, possibly indicating a smooth transition towards political stability. In the years to come, the unemployment and underemployment of many Hong Kong immigrants in Canada prompted a stream of returning migrants.

I already mentioned earlier on this thread that the Grizzlies finally conducted its too little, too late Chinese language version of its official website after Heisley took over in its final season. Never got a chance to take a look at that back then, as I assumed it was going to be exactly the same with all of the features the Grizzlies website had. In retrospect, I don't think it was very comprehensive. No doubt the city of Vancouver had a very unique position as a incredible multicultural NBA market back then to attract Asians to NBA basketball as the league was building a Pacific bridge to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and most importantly the People's Republic of China and India building its brand globally with basketball booming in the last two areas. China was, and still remains, the undisputed Asian basketball power in both men's and women's international basketball, and at the time of the sale and eventual move of the Grizzlies, basketball movers and shakers were salivating over Yao Ming (more on him next time) and, to a lesser extent, Wang Zhi Zhi. Lots of young Chinese and South Asian basketball players, male and female alike, among many Asians, were dying to be tapped across those diasporas that Vancouver could've ate up like loyal customers.

Why couldn't Vancouver have a more international lineup like Toronto has now? Both are very international cities, and if you can't acquire top-name African-American NBA free agents who mostly desire to expand their brand commercially as well as wanting to win, the Grizzlies could've sought that route with the core of Abdur-Rahim, Bibby, Dickerson, and maybe Swift to incorporate around. Possibly have Yao, Shane Battier (surely he'd like Vancouver), and Pau Gasol with them. Yao alone surely would get Vancouver's massive Chinese population excitedly on board and of all the marketing possibilities that would behold as it filled the GM Place.

When Heisley bought the Grizzlies in 2000 and had the Chinese langauge website, he and Dick Versace, like previous owners Griffiths and McCaw, assumed just having the Asian communities turn up for Grizzlies home games would be enough. That was a little arrogant for they did not have a winning record yet; the Vancouver Grizzlies franchise in its time there didn't really work hard to attract them and other well-established Asian communities in the first damn place! Just think how fantastic it would be if Vancouver had TV and radio games called in Chinese (perhaps in both Cantonese and Mandarin), Punjabi (like Toronto does), and Hindi if still there. In fact, Rogers Arena (formerly the GM Place) is right next to Vancouver's Chinatown.

When Vancouver was up for sale by John McCaw, there were supposedly two offers from prospective owners who were both Chinese and both pledged to keep the team in Vancouver that sent the local Vancouver media into a frenzy holding out hope for an Asian saviour that never appeared in a media guessing game, turning it into a Chinese soap opera. I remember back in 2000 while surfing a French sports website at the time of the sale that it was rumoured that Hong Kong businesswoman Nina Wang, Asia's richest woman worth $4.2 billion, was willing to buy the team and keep them there. This was fueled by the Vancouver Province newspaper with its splashy front page photo and headline alluded to her Grizzlies ownership ambitions. Turns out that story was unsubstantiated from the get-go, however, and was based on a third-party brokerís attempts to sell her on the idea. Wang herself, who later died in 2007, was apparently never involved or even interested in the Vancouver situation. Before Wang, there was Taiwanese-born dot-com magnate Daniel Chiang, chairman of Chinese Internet portal Sina.com, was keen on buying the team outright and keeping it in Vancouver, as reported by the same Province newspaper in February. Chiang, who expressed his interest in buying a West Coast team with a losing record, and emulating the turnaround efforts of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, ignited the fascination from Vancouverís Chinatown to the NBA offices in New Yorkby saying Vancouver had the upside of improvement and turning the woebegone franchise around as "the sense of achievement for me.Ē Chiang maintained that raising the money for the team purchase wasnít a problem and also said he wanted to exploit his connections to Asia to market the NBA franchise overseas, especially in China. It resulted out that the takeover talk was fruitless, however, something attested to by local sources close to the situation, as well as David Stern himself. For reasons not divulged by either Stern or Chiang, the technology billionaireís interest in the team suddenly disappeared. With those in the rearview mirror, Heisley set to ultimately take it away to Memphis.

We finally got video footage involving the WBL's Vancouver Nighthawks. The bad news is there's no actual game footage playing in a nearly-empty BC Place. So this Nighthawks team was not a fiction. I thought about putting this in the "Defunct Teams, Defunct Leagues" thread. So it was either here or there. It's two videos of largely news stories from local Vancover TV media with tryouts including a very interesting promotion with BC All-Star Wrestling back in 1988 with pro wrestling stars there in Nighthawks gear. A very rare Nighthawks tickets promo appears. Also, there's a somewhat condescending, and not really funny, CBS Sports NBA At The Half report by Pat O'Brien on the WBL.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMthyGDBLa0

Second video centers on the disputed "Incredibly Shrinking Man's" height of Nighthawks center Andre Patterson, listed at 6'5" and the confusion that ensues, the Vancouver Nighthawks' most famous moment. Footage at training camps throughout the Lower Mainland and the story of former Victoria Vikes player turned Vancouver sportscaster Chris Hebb at its free agent camp (at BCIT) with the hope of attracting solid BC players for local interest for CKVU 13's Sports Page. Those fantasies, as far as they go, predictalbly, with the subject from another field not making the team. Alas, GM Jerry Weber and guard Brian Karl do not appear in this video for the interviews, sadly, in the leadup to the May 28 home opener against Calgary (a game that saw Oscar Robertson conduct a ceremonial tip-off with the game having 3250 fans in attenadance including Ted Danson and William Peterson on break from filming Cousins with Calgary 88s winning 112-109). Hebb later became vice-president for broadcast and news media for Orca Bay Sports ansd Entertainment and formulated the broadcast plans for Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey and Vancouver Grizzlies NBA basketball before the team bolted to Memphis. Now with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s3uRYPGoc4

They drafted notable local CIS stars from BC like Jay Triano (Simon Fraser) and Eli Pasquale (Victoria) interested in playing for the Nighthawks, but never did play due to their Canadian national team committments for their Seoul 1988 campaign and more lucrative offers elsewhere. Did had a couple of Canadians like fellow SFU star Mike Staley and Rene Luypaert, who at the time just got off playing Belgian pro ball.

Just days ago, the Vancouver Courier wrote another article on May 31 after several years about the lost Vancouver Nighthawks, recalling all the haplessness and outlandishness you would expect from a non-major pro sports franchise. Finally got to see a Nighthawks action photo in front of the canaverous--and empty--BC Place.
http://www.vancourier.com/sports/Rem...140/story.html
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Old 14-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #63
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Vancouver, now of course based in Memphis, is the closest Canadian NBA team that will taste the NBA Finals. If Toronto was prominent like it was a decade ago with Vince Carter, it would be different. But the Raptors aren't even close now...
http://www.thestar.com/sports/basket...urs_kelly.html
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Old 26-06-2013, 07:12 AM   #64
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Will Leitch, formerly of the Sporting News and now with Sports On Earth, does offer some brief pity towards Vancouver Grizzlies fans having to see their Grizzlies become successful (and will only get better) now in Memphis.
http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/51645682/

Shareef Abdur-Rahim spared on the Sacramento Kings front office with the incoming management
http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/23/551...ngs-front.html
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:33 AM   #65
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Really good analysis on what Vancouver could do to return the NBA to the city by learning the mistakes of the past and its current sustainability for it to be in its place. Many of themes and situations here will be discussed later and/or already done so. Verdict: still favo(u)rable.

http://firstoffthebench.wordpress.co...s-nba-chances/
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:19 AM   #66
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Vancouver's pro basketball history before and since the Grizzlies, if you paid any attention here, has been very sporadic. It wasn't like Vancouver managed to get a team a year or two after the Grizz's departure. Or even flirted with the ABA back in the 1970s. Keep in mind there was a long spell of no pro basketball there from the death of the PCPBL's Vancouver Hornets to the WBL's Nighthawks charter franchise in 1988, even when there was an earlier preliminary attempt in the early 1980s to get Vancouver in the NBA.

Since 2001, there have only been the Vancouver Titans playing at suburban Langley in the minor league IBL that played for two seasons (2009-2010) where local hoops fans could their pro basketball jones. Outside of that, the ABA flirted with Vancouver in 2004 and ill-advisedly announced former Georgia, Pepperdine, and UCLA coach Jim Harrick as its head coach before it was official. The team was supposed to be filled with Chinese players. Then came another phantom Vancouver franchise slated for the CBA called the Vancouver Dragons, one of seven CBA teams owned by Michael Tuckman. But things were difficult in obtaining players becuase, for one reason, many of the international players then single-entrance visas, which meant if they left the US to Canada they could return back. Then there was the 2010 Winter Olympics matter when the Dragons were supposed to make their debut season with a lease to their name at the 4500-seat Agridome next door to the Pacific Coliseum for 20 home games, but demand for indoor venues was going to be incredibly high and a great priority to the Olympians. So the Dragons waited after that with their lease deffered but never tipped off.

Vancouver's NBA return seems distant right now. Even Seattle can't get its beloved Supersonics back right now. Perhaps Vancouver's best hope for a more bonfide pro basketball return right now close to what basketball fans enjoyed there with the Grizzlies lies in what could emerge out of the proposed Canadian Basketball League, which plans to have up to 12-15 franchises, most of them based in Western Canada, for play in September 2014. The CBL's founders have talked to Franseco Aquallini's group, like what they did with many NHL, WHL, and OHL owners, about possibly owning a team in Vancouver playing 20-30 home games at the Rogers Arena and see how financially feasible the CBL could be at the meetings. Vancouver would be nice in the CBL but it's not needed right away for BC with Victoria, Kamloops, and Kelowna. Can't ignore the huge market, though. If it gets going in Vancouver, let's hope it works there and wins. http://www.theprovince.com/sports/ba...402/story.html

Kevin Neshgoda from Sonics Rising would like to see of course Seattle--and Vancouver--readmitted to the NBA if he was NBA commissioner.
http://www.sonicsrising.com/2013/8/8...mish-for-a-day
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Old 25-08-2013, 05:19 AM   #67
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Of the players from the Vancouver Grizzlies era, Shareef Abdur-Rahim ranked the highest at #4 in Bleacher Report's top 25 alltime Grizzlies. Other ones from that period include:

13. Michael Dickerson
18. Greg Anthony
20. Stromile Swift
21. Mike Bibby
22. Bryant Reeves
24. Tony Massenburg

Easy to see why many of them were ranked lower: because Vancouver never made the playoffs in their time.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...zlies-history/

Here's hoping Mike Bibby gets one more NBA season as he's the last player standing from the Vancouver era:
http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/8/1...ibby-nba-kings
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Old 14-09-2013, 06:30 AM   #68
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Following Vancouver Grizzlies videos you're about to see captures the struggles of being a franchise with young players enduring growing pains against a veteran team in this VTV-broadcast November 18, 1999 Grizzlies home game when Vancouver had a 108-104 lead in the final minute of this game until Seattle, with its vets, literally snatched victory from them 110-108. You'll see the Grizzlies' typical ineptitude, especially down the stretch culminating with Shareef Abdur-Rahim getting his sixth foul for charging. They were learning how to seal the deal in tight matches.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAbWwNpsQCY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5vkmNcajUQ

Shareef Abdur-Rahim is now the Reno Bighorns' GM:
http://www.nba.com/dleague/reno/shar...013_09_03.html
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:50 AM   #69
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ESPN SportsNation conducted a recent survey of recent defunct pro sports franchises in the top four leagues in markets that currently lack replacements in that sport fans like to see return. The Vancouver Grizzles made the top five but barely only at 3%. The Seattle Supersonics, for understandable reasons, ranked tops at 51% followed by the NFL's Los Angeles Rams (26%), MLB's Montreal Expos (13%), and the NHL's Quebec Nordiques (7%)and then the Grizzlies. Bar graph is at the bottom.
http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/stor...-espn-magazine

Guess what? The Memphis Grizzlies ranked first this year in ESPN SportsNation's Franchise Ultimate Standings
http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/stor...-espn-magazine
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Old 22-11-2013, 09:32 AM   #70
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UBC Thunderbirds will honor Vancouver Province's Howard Tsumura, a champion of university and high school sports who also covered the Vancouver Grizzlies as a beat writer in their six-year existence there
http://www.islandsportsnews.net/comp...howard-tsumura

Next week, I'll finally discuss my thoughts on the Vancouver Grizzlies' apathy toward the city's Asian community that loves basketball and a Yao Ming what if. But I can leave with a thought OMNI, Canada's multicultural and multilingual TV network, could've gotten involved.
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Old 27-11-2013, 05:25 AM   #71
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A somewhat full Vancouver Nighthawks 1988 home game appeared on YouTube not long after a motley of Vancouver Nighthawks clips that I put up here recently. That did not have any game action whatsoever. Until this one. This Nighthawks 1988 afternoon home game at the canavorous BC Place, which seems more filled than it ever did for a Vancouver Nighthawks basketball game and seemed more like closer to 3000 fans, was against the Youngstown Pride, eventually one of the more successful franchises in the WBL.

Its poster, TheKrammerhead, says the abnormally-large attendance for the Nighthawks was likely due to BC All-Star Wrestling card coming up immediately afterwards at the BC Place Stadium. This game, part 3 of their 13-game home stand, against the Pride was one of the 18 wins the Nighthawks eventually got in their only season in the spring and summer of 1988. Vancouver wins here 134-111. A few of their top players left Vancouver due to, a very typical thing with minor pro teams, not getting paid. Jose Slaughter was the WBL's leading scorer then from Vancouver and eventually went to the Indiana Pacers and Keith Smith headed to Milwaukee. Billy Ray Bates, former NBA/CBA player and Filipino pro basketball legend known as the Black Superman, comes in Vancouver. None of the blacking out of the lights and video graphics that we see nowdays for the home team intro. Not quite there yet for minor league basketball. The maroon and white court came from the Anahiem Convention Center with the small Nighthawks logos tacked on near the keys, which is why you don't see a larger Nighthawks one. Jim Leith and analyst then-UBC Thunderbirds coach Bruce Enns are the TV announcers. Hawkettes also appear.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8dBSuYTzk
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:39 AM   #72
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Memphis GM Chris Wallace confirms that the primary reason Vancouver left for Memphis back in 2001 were financial. Although Michael Heisley liked the fan base and Vancouver, he couldn't deal with the currency exchange. I think Vancouver fans suspected this but suspect other reasons at work. But won't take it well.
http://www.hoopslounge.com/articles/...lace-interview
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:51 AM   #73
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Philadelphia's lengthy 26-game losing streak that mercifully ended Saturday night rekindled memories of Vancouver's then-record 23-game losing streak. What was shocking about it was that nobody predicted this stentch of badness. Even for an expansion team.
http://dimemag.com/2014/03/5-longest...reaks-history/

Now that Adam Silver is the new NBA commissioner, it's worth examining possible NBA expansion even at the preliminary level. But outside of righting an injustice involving Seattle, expansion is not an option in the forseeable future. Vancouver, though a worthy reexamining is needed there like James Herbert says (I agree), you're just going to have to wait some more.
http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/...sion-right-nba

Will it stomach an ABA franchise and build semipro ball in Canada with the--get this!--Vancouver Balloholics that was announced today? Will it capture at least a small glimpse of the Grizzlies' time back in Vancouver for the local basketball community there and get people to gravitate to them? Doubt it seriously.
http://www.abalive.com/aba-announces...-vancouver-bc/
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Old 26-04-2014, 05:56 AM   #74
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He only played seven games for Vancouver, but Cuonzo Martin's bigger legacy is one that he's building now as a college head coach. He turned Tennessee around and got them into the Sweet 16 this past season. Now he's heading to the west coast and becomes the California Golden Bears' new head coach.
http://california.scout.com/2/1394071.html

Incidently in segue form, former Cal Golden Bear Shareef Abdur-Rahim never complained about Vancouver while he was starring there. Granted, many of the players who suited up there were never jazzed about the city wishing to be elsewhere, nonplussed about the committment and the losing and all of that reflected in their body language. But I disagree that Vancouver will never get another NBA chance that Vancouver Province basketball columnist Jonathan McDonald hopes. That's on the players.

It will be a long time for that to happen with cities like Seattle gaining higher priority than it. It's a different era now from the mid-90s and will be when that happens--with people on the outside being educated about Vancouver, BC, and Canada. Besides, there's greater depth of Canadian basketball talent who could be NBA-ready nowdays and will continue to rise in the future.
http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Th...973/story.html
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Old 29-04-2014, 11:04 AM   #75
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Michael Heisely, the Chicago billionaire who bought the Vancouver Grizzlies in 2000 from Seattle businessman John Mccaw, famously sang O Canada at the Grizzlies' final season opener Halloween Night in 2000 against Seattle, and then moved them to Memphis the next year, died Saturday following complications from a stroke 15 months ago at the age of 77:
http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Mi...398/story.html

The closest British Columbia native Steve Nash ever got to the Vancouver Grizzlies: Here he is at a 1996 pre-draft workout at the Grizzlies practice facility under the watchful eye of Stu(pid) Jackson. Even this CKVU-TV 10 sports report (under the U Sports banner) acknowledged he was unlikely to be with Vancouver. Instead, the Grizzlies drafted Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Not a bad player, Reef. Still, this snub always left Grizzlies fans wondering as a reminder of what might have been.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYjGTx0gyU8
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