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Old 07-09-2016, 07:16 AM   #126
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Vancouver's latest NBA preseason foray with the Toronto Raptors again at the Rogers Arena comes with major anticipation as the Raptors build upon its best season ever starting it all over again in Vancouver next month October 1, when they're conducting training camp there. And this major hot anticipation along with We The North continuing prominence is the official debut of Kevin Durant in a Golden St. Warriors uniform, who really should've repeated but were too damn stupid to accomplish that, right in Vancouver! With all the hype of this seismic free agent acquisition.

Tickets for that Rogers Arena Vancouver game sold out within minutes when they went public!
http://www.warriorsworld.net/2016/09...ithin-minutes/
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...lout-1.3746471
http://www.cknw.com/2016/09/02/rapto...ut-in-minutes/

Once again, Vancouverites show they really want a more regular NBA appetite by selling out another NBA preseason game up there. Enthusiasm certainly is there despite whatever lingering bitterness towards the business aspects of professional basketball. If only they get an expansion franchise as their second chance. Vancouver basketball fans have only preseason games like this to tide them over since there's nothing on the horizon. Nonetheless, Vancouver is far away from Oakland in the San Francisco Bay Area as it is with Toronto with precious few basketball regional options from where they are. Surely many Vancouver Grizzlies fans abandoned the franchise once it left for Memphis. Relocation is a complicated issue, something as we here in St. Louis are coping with now with the NFL "Shams" as I call them return to Los Angeles (I'm a Houston Texans fan though), that individual fans have to come to terms with in various ways. Some did turn to the Raptors as Canada's NBA team with others going to the SuperSonics and Trail Blazers and others like Steve Nash's team, when he was in Phoenix.

But there is something else for Vancouver basketball fans can tide themselves over too: NBA2K17 released a default list of 10 fictional expansion teams to play with for expanding the NBA team roster to upwards of 36 teams under NBA2K17's MyLeague/MyGM banner. The Vancouver Ravens are one of them with primary and secondary logo designs for each team. BTW, the Ravens are also the name of an indoor lacrosse team in the NLL from 2002-2004 that ceased operations when their Rogers Arena (then the General Motors Place) lease wasn't renewed after expiration and couldn't get one at the Pacific Coliseum. Efforts to revive the NLL Ravens since with an arena lease and 2500 season ticket holders failed. Players can still use those cities with their own different logos and designs, but itís nice to have those pre-installed (Too bad Seattle isn't one of them):
http://www.forbes.com/sites/brianmaz...m#234be73b1f57

You can now listen at last to Bill Simmons' interview with David Stern on his regret over "the Vancouver experience" revelation on Simmons' 100th podcast. Comes in at the 35-minute mark with a little preface being philosophical over making mistakes and having success in trying something new or different:
http://www.espn.com/espnradio/play/_/id/3760531

Since that Bill Simmons podcast where then-NBA commissioner David Stern expressed regret over the Vancouver saga, Stern, in a later one with Simmons in 2011, interestingly said he had visits from potential Vancouver NBA parties. He also regrets Seattle:
http://news.nationalpost.com/sports/...ver-stern-says
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Old 19-10-2016, 08:50 AM   #127
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Speaking of Seattle, according to the brilliant Sonics Rising, Vancouver is among 8 cities included that could make a play for NBA expansion very soon after the NBA and the NBA Players' Association finalizes its next CBA. Seattle reportedly will get a SuperSonics expansion offer an hour after its SoDo arena proposal is approved by the Seattle City Council. Louisville is making a serious push. My home state of Missouri has both my hometown St. Louis and Kansas City rumoured. But there's no substance out of them so far with both having existing arenas (Scottrade Center and Sprint Center, respectively):
http://www.sonicsrising.com/2016/10/...ansion-seattle

No, Rogers Arena is NOT 31 years old. It's 21. But where's the prospective ownership consortium that will make a very popular and liberal and multicultural (and expensive) city that can stake the NBA claim for the wide-open Western Canadian/Pacific Northwest market that's hungry for the NBA's return with Canadian interest in basketball at an all-time high?
http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/wi...ective-cities/

Will touch on the goings-on with Vancouver like KD's Golden St. debut versus the Raptors next time.
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Old 27-10-2016, 09:48 AM   #128
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Vancouver basketball fans had to be one of the luckiest fans in the planet when the Toronto Raptors, continuing their Canadian national basketball branding, helped usher in the debut of Kevin Durant in a Golden St. Warriors uniform. Because of how this free agent acquisition--joining an already all-powerful team after eliminating his in the WCF--is publicly perceived by many (but not including me), KD got booed and became a villain, to which Curry thought it was funny. What a treat the 19,000-sellout Vancouver fans at the Rogers Arena that saw Canada's NBA team win 97-93! Once again proving their desire for a return to the NBA fraternity. Toronto rookie Pascal Siakim's assignment was to stop KD, who scored 9 points. Yes, Vancouver Grizzlies' apparel were spotted on some fans again!
http://www.tsn.ca/raptors-top-durant...ouver-1.577783
http://www.nba.com/warriors/gameday/20161001/recap/
http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2016/10/...ss-to-raptors/
http://www.morningnewsusa.com/golden...-23109336.html
http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/wa...as-just-funny/
http://www.canada.com/sports/raptors...393/story.html
http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/10/0...ss-to-raptors/

Warriors' Kerr and Curry both share enjoyable and fun memories about being in Vancouver on the road during the Grizzlies' time when both were younger like taking a seaplane with several of Kerr's Spurs teammates that could've made Coach Gregg Popovich mad:
http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/artic...er-9517666.php

Just bear in mind that when Vancouver joined the NBA in the 1990s in the Canadian expansion with Toronto making the national noise there was no mass, wide-scale, ingrained public clamoring for the roundball preceeding it when founder Arthur Griffiths wanted in. Nor that basketball was among the prominent sports things in the BC Lower Mainland, even though there actually was and still is a very strong local (and predominantly amateur) basketball culture for years (with the exception of the fleeting Vancouver Nighthawks from the WBL in 198 with the likes of the UBC Thunderbirds and the Simon Fraser Clan anchoring it. So there was some access. Yet, when the Grizzlies arrived in that period, it sparked exciting big-time interest and greater access in the sport that the likes of Mike Jordan, David Stern, Shaq, Penny, among others helped popularized globally and later a grassroots basketball effort that we're only now seeing more of the fruits and its legacy long after the Vancouver Grizzlies left for Memphis. Grizzlies players back then became instant local sports celebs. Perhaps BC residents weren't quite ready or appreciative back then during the 6 years with the Grizzlies. Basketball in Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia continues to thrive is much stronger and more organized than when they arrived, impacting the provincial middle school and high (secondary) school basketball scenes in many ways. Still, lingering resentment in Vancouver over that "lost opportunity" remains over their departure:
http://theprovince.com/sports/basket...lies-foul-exit

Arizona Wildcats look back at an important but somewhat forgotten member of the 1997 NCAA championship team and future Vancouver Grizzlies, Michael Dickerson:
http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/artic...mpionship-team

More known for his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves as one of the original and longstanding players in the pro game and with Villanova than with his 1996 dispiritng trade to Vancouver for former Mizzou star Anthony Peeler, we catch up with Doug West:
http://www.canishoopus.com/2016/10/6...-now-doug-west

Violet Palmer, the first female and lesbian NBA referee, whose first NBA game she officiated was a Vancouver-Dallas season opening match 19 years ago in Vancouver on Halloween, retired recently. What she did was the first women in any top-level North American male pro sports league. Vancouver enjoyed one of its better starts then in the Midwest Division going up to 6-7 before the bottom fell out--again:
https://lasentinel.net/first-female-...e-retires.html
http://www.vice.com/read/the-nbas-fi...of-close-calls

Very much would love, love Vancouver be granted a second chance in the NBA; it will also re-fortify the Canadian NBA contingent back to 2 and would balance it out nationwide, proclaiming another Western Canada presence. Montreal would be interesting too, bringing its Gallic presence to the NBA. But that city's local basketball scene is still under development in comparison to, say, baseball, soccer, and of course ice hockey. Besides adding Montreal would make it an uneven amount from Canada. No doubt, Vancouver is one of the bigger, richer, best, and attractive cities in Canada. Expansion in the NBA can't be ignored in the near future. Odds are solid for a NBA return in the next expansion go-round; Vancouver has the experience, the arena, the diverse and multicultural demographics that will support, the high income per capita income, a more mature local basketball culture, the popularity, the Pacific Northwest rivalry proximity, and now the social media base to make it work much better this time, despite Adam Silver's protestations to the contrary. Still have to compete with hockey for they share the same course of the season, but the city's big enough for both.

A new arena specifically for this new Vancouver NBA franchise would be OK, but I still think Rogers Arena, just now the NHL's Vancouver Canucks home, would certainly more than suffice. Even though it's 21 years old, it can make use of some basketball-oriented upgrades here and there. Where would the new Vancouver arena--perhaps seating 18,000+--be located? Moreover, what about the prospective Vancouver ownership? Nobody has come forward publicly yet to announce their interest as investors. Doubt seriously that Vancouver Canucks owner Fransesco Aquilini would now; apparently the big-time sponsors the Aquilini Group currently attract would halve their annual amount to the Canucks to give the other half to the NBA team, if asked to sponsor. Sort of cannibalizing your own market. If this works like that as just described, this means it will be a different investor group involved that will keep the sponsor revenue cash to its NBA team. Will this ownership get along well with Aquilini's assuming they share the former General Motors Place--and the latter force rental use fees? Certainly could earn a lucrative national cross-Canada TV deal though.
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Old 23-11-2016, 08:46 AM   #129
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As Vancouver rapidly becomes a world-class big-time sports event hosting city since the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics showed and wowed the world of that beautiful and multicultural city and its capabilities and continues to do so, Vancouver Grizzlies founder and former Canucks CEO Arthur Griffiths says the NBA admits the 2001 Memphis move shouldn't have been allowed to happen. The NBA would embrace Vancouver back with open arms and get excited again. He adds, and I agree and reiterate here, that Vancouver performed better at the box office than the NBA hyped up for the public to believe. It was actually the NHL Canucks that were deeper in the red. Not to mention, the Canadian to US dollars currency exchange concerns for pro teams aren't what they used to be thanks to "league-generated revenue":
https://www.biv.com/article/2016/11/...s-sports-town/

Shareef Abdur-Rahim talks to Brown and Scoop about that now-legendary Class of 1996 Slam magazine phot shoot and his reminisces about Vancouver:
http://www.slamonline.com/nba/sharee...mCOA7dcyUKz.97

Reef was also the Old School subject of Slam's previous issue as a one-time cover boy. Does resemble a bit like the late Ben Wilson. Despite the constant losing there and his (understated by NBA standards) first-level game, it was a really good 13-year career. Since he worked as Sacramento Kings assistant GM, maybe he should consider being the Vancouver GM should it return to NBA. By the way, his son Jabri is rising in the national junior basketball ranks:
http://www.slamonline.com/nba/sharee...mCOA7dcyUKz.97

This is Reef dropping the ceremonial puck during the Vancouver Canucks' Vancouver Grizzlies Night against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Rogers Arena. He also talks to Rogers SportsNet Canucks in-arena analyst Dan Murphy during that game's second intermission on Rogers SportsNet Pacific last November:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dFbu4gGdtQ

Yesterday was Stromile Swift's birthday. The last Vancouver Grizzlies first round draft pick in 2000 at #2 from LSU was never an All-Star and had limited-time player as a forward. Did participate in the 2001 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest. This is a montage of his best NBA dunks:
http://bballtimes.sportsblog.com/pos...est-dunks.html

Oh yes, Steve Francis, the one who flat out refused to head over to Vancouver upon being drafted by the Grizzlies, was charged with pot possession, DWI, and threatening a police officer:
http://www.gamenguide.com/articles/7...ession-pot.htm
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Old 13-12-2016, 12:43 PM   #130
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One can only imagine what the improved fan experience would've been like if the Vancouver Grizzlies stuck around long enough to see the brand new sky-high sports bar at the GM Place/Rogers Arena...
http://theprovince.com/sports/hockey...igh-challenges
http://arenadigest.com/2016/12/12/ro...the-sportsbar/
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:14 PM   #131
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Been through this several times here. TSN Radio Vancouver 1040's Dave Pratt, in playing the "what if" game, is totally convinced that British Columbia native Steve Nash's presence in the Vancouver Grizzlies would've saved the franchise from moving to Memphis and made them better while further boosting basketball's local profile:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCgXRhcxQko

Like to know what the current whereabouts of Vancouver's first two head coaches are now?
http://www.businessinsider.com/where...eason-14-68-55

Larry Stewart, one former Vancouver player, enters his third season as Morgan St. Bears assistant to Todd Bozeman, who incidentally coached future Grizz player Shareef Abdur-Rahim at Cal as a teenager for one season 20 years ago:
http://morganstatebears.com/coaches.aspx?rc=772
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Old 19-01-2017, 12:59 PM   #132
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Vancouver does indeed get talked about whenever future NBA expansion gets bandied about. But it's not a serious option right now with the likes of Louisville, Kansas City, and Las Vegas apparently ahead of the BC city following Seattle. There's still love for basketball in Vancouver and in the rest of Western Canada even after the Grizzlies--even the NBA wants to prove the city deserves a second chance and make it more effective in restrengthening its Pacific Northwest footprint (but focus is on Seattle obviously) with a few key intangibles already in place. I disagree that NBA basketball can't be a losing second-place proposition in Vancouver to the NHL's Canucks because there's strong evidence the local basketball scene is now thriving and of the lack of diversity because it's certainly omnipresent and diverse enough to seriously embrace more pro sports. Look at soccer for decades with the Vancouver Whitecaps in the NASL and MLS and the Vancouver Eighty-Sixers in the CSL/A-League:
http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nb...nba-expansion/
https://16winsaring.com/sources-nba-...3d6#.tjc44z9n3
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Old 31-01-2017, 11:51 AM   #133
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Latest developments regarding Vancouver's NBA return in the expansion derby indicates it's not going to happen for the city this time with three others cities following Seattle being a fast-rising Mexico City, Louisville, and Las Vegas all vying for attention. Reportedly, the NBA plans to expand with 2 franchises that will include Seattle. If it's going to be Seattle and Mexico City/Las Vegas, this will allow the NBA to incidentally move the Memphis Grizzlies, being based east of the Mississippi River, to the Eastern Conference with both Seattle and Mexico City/Las Vegas firmly settled in the Western Conference. But if the NBA selects Seattle and Louisville, Memphis stays and Louisville (perhaps eventually known as the Kentucky Colonels) moves into the East. Besides nobody locally in Vancouver has publicly announced its NBA expansion intentions AFAIK, and even though the Vancouver Grizzlies were part of that Pacific Northwest NBA footprint with Seattle and Portland at its height from 1995-2001, they actually played in the Midwest Division all this time. NBA officials IMO firmly feel for now Seattle is more than enough to refortify that region's NBA presence with adding Vancouver would be too much at this time. Certainly can't see those two coming in.

Howard Tsumara's final Vancouver Province column today as he packs his bags from it recalls back on February 22, 1993 that big scoop of Canucks owner Arthur Griffiths telling Tsumara he's looking into joining the NBA with the aid of a consultant thinking that the NBA in Vancouver was "workable" at a time when Toronto's expansion saga was highlighted by 3 prospective founding groups the NBA Board of Governors were evaluating. He should write a book about the Vancouver Grizzlies saga:
http://theprovince.com/sports/high-s...de-of-the-door

NBA.com columnist David Alridge answers Brody Herman's question about Vancouver. Mutually agree with him that the Raptors' designation as Canada's Team holds some cache in its business model with the NBA league office despite the local basketball scene thriving and more accessible. Yet expansion interest may be higher in other American cities like Las Vegas. We just don't know, but I'm more optimistic than Alridge about its chances:
http://www.nba.com/article/2017/01/2...spurs-warriors
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Old 16-02-2017, 11:05 AM   #134
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SB Nation ranks Vancouver #5 in its NBA expansion candidate list released today. I can see why it's ranked there. For a reason I just mentioned on the last post here regarding the NBA's Pacific Northwest footprint with Seattle very much certain to return--with some of the Vancouver basketball fans will get away feel served with the Supersonics when they come back. No doubt Vancouver's 2001 departure to Memphis was a sad blow to the Canadian basketball development, not just its NBA portion. How will Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment's Toronto Raptors might regard the city's possible NBA return since its shoring up the whole nation of Canada as its NBA team and encroaching on its turf. Hope not since there's more than enough of Canada in the NBA for even Montreal.

Tom Ziller makes a good point of many NBA ownerships changing hands since 2001, so there may not be as much strong feelings of guilt in the Board of Governors about Vancouver's disasterous first NBA foray from 1995-2001 and the subsequent move. Would welcome Memphis giving up the Grizzlies name to Vancouver, an extremely popular destination for sportswriters like David Alridge, and embrace the Sounds as it could move to the East, if Vancouver comes back:
http://www.sbnation.com/2017/2/15/14...ities-are-next
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Old 24-02-2017, 12:06 PM   #135
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Big Country goes to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame:
http://www.swtimes.com/sports/201702...s-hall-of-fame
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Old 30-03-2017, 01:13 PM   #136
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On this day in sports history 21 years ago, the Vancouver Grizzlies set an NBA record for suffering in losing its 21st consecutive game with a 105-91 loss to the Utah Jazz during their first season. Living up to then-Cleveland Cavaliers coach Bill Fitch's famous quote back in 1971 from the first season of "War is hell, but expansion is worse":
http://press-leader.com/sports/3377/...ory-provided-4

Throwback look back at 1990s cult hero Bryant "Big Country" Reeves, the first-ever Grizzlies draft pick in 1995 fresh off of his All-American career at Oklahoma St. and taking the Cowboys to the Final Four in Seattle. A missed opportunity and could've been among the greatest Grizz ever, yeah. His bad back never allowed him to play after the Memphis move:
http://bealestreetbears.com/2017/03/...chise-history/

Oh, and here was his best performance back in 2000 at the GM Place getting into the groove with 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists "bringing the biscuts and gravy" at home against Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle with Ken Calabro and (interestingly) Danny Schayes calling it for the SuperSonics. Vancouver's young starting lineup had some potential if everything stuck with Lionel Hollins. Should've had more of that from Reeves had everything went right for him. But new ownership came...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxu5whkS9rE

Plus, he's got his son Trey playing at his alma mater. But not as bulky (or tall) as his old man:
http://www.sbnation.com/2017/3/17/14...ather-like-son
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Old 19-05-2017, 08:01 AM   #137
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Mike Bibby, Vancouver's last player and now coaching in high school ball Phoenix, finally gets his college degree from UNLV to make his mom proud:
http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/F...422204783.html
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Old 23-05-2017, 09:20 AM   #138
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Vancouver is on the NBL Canada's radar for a while now as an expansion candidate along with much stronger ones in Sudbury (now since officially in) and St. John's. Don't think Vancouver will get in. While having a team there could whet the appetites of long-starved local pro basketball fans since the Vancouver Grizzlies' departure, it won't work as the westernmost NBL Canada franchise due to its far-off location from all the Ontario-based teams. Better if Vancouver had a cluster of Western Canadian NBL Canada franchises to fill it out with them. Some good cities are capable there and build regional rivalries with. But right now I think NBL Canada is right to focus strictly for now on medium-sized Canadian cities in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, where basketball talent has a wellspring and the sport is well supported for the most part, after the bad experiences with bigger ones like Montreal and Ottawa.

Plus, where would Vancouver's NBL Canada franchise could play on a permanent basis? Forget about the large Pacific Coliseum at the Vancouver PNE, much less the Rogers Arena (formerly the General Motors Place). Too large and won't look close to filled up on TV or in webcasts in the beginning. My guesses will be over at the University of British Columbia campus with the Thunderbirds basketball home gym War Memorial Gym or the UBC Doug Mitchell Thunderbirds Sports Centre, the site of Vancouver's 2016 CIS Final 8 Nationals that was part of the new venues for Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Will the Thunderbirds be willing to have them sharing the venues there and can the NBL Canada franchise strike some sound deals in its favor unlike the Windsor Express? Or another Vancouver 2010 venue in the Richmond Oval, the site for the speed skating there, in suburban Richmond? Would any former Grizzlies employees could get involved in the management side?

Vancouver and Toronto weren't allowed to have #1 pick from their inception until 1999 not just out of fear both Canadian franchises were slated to be bad but also of the concern the NBA did not want another lucky gamechanging back-to-back Orlando situation with Shaq and Penny. But it was so wrongheaded in hindsight to Vancouver's side. Makes you wonder if they, with some revisionist history what ifs, were allowed to have #1 picks of players who no doubt would bring the essential entertainment value or gamechangers. A bonafide franchise player like Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, or even Kobe Bryant. Or a promising young player like Melo. Would any of that would have been enough to keep the Grizzlies in British Columbia?
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2...ifs-in-history

Vancouver gets another taste in semi-pro minor league basketball in the form of the SB Battle touching down in the aforementioned Richmond Oval as part of the North American Basketball League's 11-team expansion and the only Canadian one of the bunch with so many down south. It's going to cause some problems with travel costs even with some Pacific Northwest teams with SB.
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