Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies History

What is known as Memphis Grizzlies today began its journey as the Vancouver Grizzlies. The team was founded as a Canadian expansion in 1995. Initially, they were aligned to be called Vancouver Mounties. However, due to objections from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the name "Grizzlies" was eventually chosen. Struggles marked grizzlies' early years. For the first four seasons, they couldn't win more than 19 games per season and languished at the bottom for five of the next six years.?

However, their quest for a fresh start led them to relocate to Memphis (2001). In their initial draft, Memphis garnered their first-ever all-star, who eventually became its first rookie of the year award holder. In 2002, the Grizzlies appointed an NBA legend as its general manager, who orchestrated a remarkable turnaround. The next season, Memphis won 50 games and secured their first-ever playoff berth in franchise history. However, a good playoff resume was still out of reach for the franchise. As a result, they entered a rebuilding phase in the mid-20s.??

In their 10th Memphis season, they made a triumphant return to the playoffs after five years. Soon, they shined as a team while having the most steals per game. Next year, they topped a first-seeded team while being #8. The next season, the Grizzlies reached the conference finals for the first time in the team's history. Despite playoff appearances in the subsequent years, the ageing roster led to diminishing returns. In one of the seasons, Memphis used 28 different players due to injuries. As a result, the franchise underwent significant changes after the 2018-19 season. Soon, they were filled with a young core of emerging talent.

Ever since the 2021 season, the Grizzlies have been on the top of their conference, with #3 and #2 spots. However, despite regular season dominance, playoff stability is still a matter of concern for the franchise.

Memphis Grizzlies Owners

In 1995, the Vancouver Grizzlies became one of two Canadian NBA teams. Despite the exclusivity, it faced the challenge of attracting small crowds. Furthermore, its low-performing seasons didn't help the franchise either. As a result, the franchise was acquired by billionaire financier Michael Heisley for $160 million in April 2000.

Even though Heisley promised to keep the team in Canada, the revenue generation led him to look for other avenues. It was projected that Heisley would lose more than $40 million in his first season. The search for a new home led to considerations of Las Vegas, Anaheim, St. Louis, New Orleans, Louisville, and Memphis. Ultimately, in 2001, Tennessee became their new destination. A major reason behind it was FedEx pledging a generous $250 million to construct a new arena for the team. It facilitated the franchise's move and revitalised the Grizzlies team. Despite attempting to change its name in light of new destinations, the fans abided by its original moniker.

Fast-forward to June 11, 2012. It was reported that Michael Heisley reached an agreement in principle to sell the Memphis Grizzlies. The buyer was Robert J. Pera, a communications technology magnate. At the age of 34, Pera was listed on Forbes' 2012 list of the world's 10 youngest billionaires.?

On August 23, 2012, Pera and Heisley solidified the deal. Pera reached an agreement with a group of local partners, including J.R. Hyde, Ed Dobbs, Staley Cates, Duncan Williams, and Billy Orgel. On October 25, Robert Pera received official approval as the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, setting the stage for a new era in the franchise's history.?

Memphis Grizzlies retired jerseys and HOF players

Despite being a relatively young franchise, the Grizzlies take pride in having featured some of the most influential players in the game. Among these luminaries are Marc Gasol, Allen Iverson, Tony Allen, and more. Moreover, they've benefited from the guidance of Hall of Fame coach Hubie Brown.

The Grizzlies initially had plans to retire Tony Allen's #11 in January of 2022. However, in November 2021, the ceremony was postponed due to Allen's request.

In a significant tribute to their former stars, the team announced the retirement of Gasol's revered #33. Furthermore, Zach Randolph has already received the honour of having his #50 retired. Following the departure of Mike Conley Jr. through a trade, the Grizzlies confirmed their intention to retire Conley Jr.'s #11 as well. Along with its player, Grizzlies is part of the NBA's historic decision of retiring Bill Russell's #6 in honour of his contributions to the sport.

Memphis Grizzlies active roster for 2023-24 season

In recent years, the Grizzlies have been riding high behind a vibrant young team. With everyone's contagious confidence, they have bolstered their rising star in Ja Morant. However, 2022-23 smashed their ongoing run of regular season runs, culminating in a first-round playoff exit. Because of the loss, many question whether the young roster is truly ready for the big games.?

USA Today via Reuters

However, there have been more concerning matters in the Grizzlies' arena lately, majorly due to their all-star being suspended for the first 25 games of the season. Even though Memphis' offense has been great in the absence of the star, they will surely take a hit on team morale and chemistry.

Player NamePositionSalary
Brandon ClarkePower Forward$12,500,000
David RoddyForward$2,718,240
Derrick RosePoint Guard$3,196,448
Desmond BaneShooting Guard$3,845,083
Isaiah ToddPower Forward$1,836,096
Ja MorantPoint Guard$34,005,250
Jake LaRaviaForward$3,199,920
Jaren Jackson Jr.Power Forward$27,102,202
John KoncharShooting Guard$2,400,000
Josh ChristopherShooting Guard$2,485,200
Kenneth Lofton Jr.Forward$1,719,864
Luke KennardShooting Guard$15,418,363
Marcus SmartPoint Guard$18,833,712
Santi AldamaPower Forward$2,194,200
Steven AdamsCenter$12,600,000
Xavier TillmanForward$1,930,681
Ziaire WilliamsForward$4,810,200

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Sunday, 19th May 2024

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