Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
2011–12 Memphis Grizzlies season
Memphis Grizzlies logo
Conference Western Conference
Division Southwest Division
Founded 1995
History Vancouver Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
Arena FedExForum
City Memphis, Tennessee
Team colors Memphis Midnight Blue, Beale Street Blue, Smoke Blue, Grizzlies Gold, White
Owner(s) Michael Heisley
General manager Chris Wallace
Head coach Lionel Hollins
D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns
Championships 0
Conference titles 0
Division titles 0
Official website
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. The team originated that year in Vancouver, British Columbia and relocated to Memphis in 2001. The team's majority owner is Michael Heisley, who controls a 95% share of the franchise; the remaining 5% is controlled by several local owners, including AutoZone founder J. R. ("Pitt") Hyde, his wife Barbara Hyde, equity manager Staley Cates, and former NBA player and University of Memphis point guard Elliot Perry.[1]

While two other teams in Tennessee (Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators) in the five major North American sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS) play in Nashville, the Grizzlies are the only team currently to play in Memphis.


Franchise history

1995–2001: Vancouver

2001–2008: Memphis and the Pau Gasol era

The Grizzlies' alternate "claw" logo

The Grizzlies and Charlotte Hornets both applied with the NBA to relocate to Memphis on the same day, March 26, 2001. The Grizzlies' request was granted by the NBA. Memphis became the Easternmost city among those of the league's Western Conference teams. By the time the Grizzlies relocated, Memphis-based company FedEx hoped the team would change its name to the Memphis Express. The NBA quickly quashed that idea, ruling that they would not allow teams to be named for corporations.[2] Although the Hornets failed in their quest to move to Memphis, they relocated from Charlotte to New Orleans before the start of the 2002-03 NBA season. Although not related, Memphis also had a professional football team of the same name in the WFL that folded with the league in 1975.

In the 2001 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks drafted Pau Gasol as the 3rd overall pick, who was traded to the Grizzlies. After the Grizzlies' first season in Memphis, Gasol won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The Grizzlies also drafted Shane Battier, who quickly became an unofficial spokesman for the team and a fan favorite. However, despite the strong draft class, general manager Billy Knight was let go. After Billy Knight's departure and the 2001–02 season, the team hired former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Famer Jerry West as general manager in 2002, who later received the 2003–04 NBA Executive of the Year Award. After West's arrival the team was changed a great deal from Knight's team, with the removal of Sidney Lowe as head coach after a dismal 0–8 start to the season and a great deal of player movement, with players such as Mike Miller and James Posey becoming vital to the team's success. During the 2002–03 season, Hubie Brown was hired to coach the Grizzlies. Brown won the NBA Coach of the Year Award during the next season when the Grizzlies made the NBA playoffs for the first time in team history in the spring of 2004 as the sixth seed in the Western Conference in a drastic change from being perennially one of the worst teams in the NBA.

However, Hubie Brown stepped down as head coach during the 2004–05 season. At the time of his resignation, the Grizzlies had a losing record but West was able to hire TNT analyst and former coach Mike Fratello to replace Brown. The Grizzlies' record markedly improved and the team advanced to the postseason for the second consecutive season. However, upon reaching the playoffs, the Grizzlies were swept out in the first round once again, this time by the Phoenix Suns. After this season, which ended tumultuously with anger between Fratello and many of the players, namely Bonzi Wells and Jason Williams, the team had an active 2005 offseason in which they revamped the team and added veteran talent. While the Grizzlies lost Bonzi Wells, Jason Williams, Stromile Swift, and James Posey, they acquired Damon Stoudamire, Bobby Jackson, Hakim Warrick, and Eddie Jones. They made the playoffs for the third consecutive year as well.

With their record they owned the fifth playoff seed in the Western Conference and would have to face the Dallas Mavericks, who swept the Grizzlies in 4 games. Following the 2006 NBA Draft, Jerry West traded Shane Battier to the Houston Rockets for their first round pick Rudy Gay of the University of Connecticut and Stromile Swift. Before the 2006–07 season, the Grizzlies suffered a crippling blow when Gasol broke his left foot while playing for Spain in the World Championships. The Grizzlies started the season 5–17 without Gasol, and then went 1–7 while he was limited to about 25 minutes per game.[3] At that point, Fratello was fired and replaced by Tony Barone, Sr. as interim coach. Barone was the team's player personnel director and had never coached an NBA game though he had coached at the collegiate level for both Creighton and Texas A&M being named coach of the year in their conferences three times during his tenure.[4] Grizzlies finished the 2006–07 season with the league's worst 22–60 record, and Jerry West announced resignation from his position as the team's general manager shortly after end of the regular season. The team also hired highly touted Phoenix Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni to be the team's new head coach. Despite their last place finish, the Grizzlies, who held the best chance of landing the first pick in a draft, ended up with the fourth pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. With this pick, the Grizzlies selected Mike Conley, Jr., a guard from Ohio State.

On June 18, 2007, the Grizzlies named former Boston Celtics GM Chris Wallace as the team's General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations, replacing the retired West.[5] A few days later, the Grizzlies hired former Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic head coach Johnny Davis, longtime NBA assistant coach Gordon Chiesa, and the head coach of the 2007 NBA Development League champion Dakota Wizards, David Joerger, as the team's new assistant coaches. Gene Bartow, a Memphis basketball legend, was named the Grizzlies' President of Basketball Operations on August 16, 2007.[6] On February 1, 2008, Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, rights to Marc Gasol (Pau's younger brother), and 2008 and 2010 first round draft picks.[7][8]

2008–present: Rudy Gay & Zach Randolph Era

On January 22, 2009, head coach Marc Iavaroni was fired and replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Johnny Davis. To replace Iavaroni, Lionel Hollins was named the Grizzlies' head coach on January 25, 2009.[9]

On June 25, 2009, with the 2nd Overall pick in the NBA Draft, Memphis selected C Hasheem Thabeet from the University of Connecticut, then selected DeMarre Carroll from the University of Missouri with the 27th overall pick.

On September 9, 2009, the Grizzlies Signed free agent Allen Iverson to a single year, $3.5 million deal. Iverson had been the subject of some controversy due to the nature of his previous season with the Detroit Pistons, though he stated that he was excited about helping the team, and believed "God chose Memphis as the place that I will continue my career." However, he only played in three games (none of them in Memphis) before leaving for "personal problems." He was then waived by the Grizzlies.[10]

Following Iverson's departure, the Grizzlies gradually improved. With new acquisition Zach Randolph playing at an all-star level, Marc Gasol's improvement and a commitment to defense, the Grizzlies were in playoff contention for much of the 2009-10 NBA season, before finishing 10th in the West with a 40-42 record.

Going into the 2010-2011 season the Memphis Grizzlies was approaching the tenth year of basketball in Memphis. This season was unlike the others, the Grizzlies had an up-to-date court with the 10th season insignia on the it. Also the Grizzlies had outrageous fan celebration as far as advertising the season ticket holders for this upcoming season. Although the Grizzlies and the fans were celebrating the tenth season the Grizzlies were also cheering for the unexpected 8th spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.

2011 Playoffs

The Grizzlies found their way back into the post-season for the first time in five years during the 2010-11 NBA season after a 101-96 home victory over the Sacramento Kings on April 8, 2011.[11] While in the playoff hunt in February 2011, the Grizzlies traded center Hasheem Thabeet, forward DeMarre Carroll, and a protected future first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for forward Shane Battier and guard Ishmael Smith.

The Grizzlies achieved several firsts in franchise history during the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Entering the playoffs as an eighth seed, the team won their first playoff game in franchise history on April 17, 2011 with a 101-98 victory on the road against the top seeded San Antonio Spurs. Memphis then won their first home playoff game when they beat the Spurs 91-88 on April 23, 2011.[12] Finally, on April 29, the team won their first playoff series when they beat the Spurs in game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals 99-91 to win the series 4 games to 2. This was only the fourth time in NBA history that a number 8 seed defeated a number 1 seed, and only the second time in a best-of-seven series (the first two were in a best-of-five series).[13] The Grizzlies' historic season came to an end after the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the team in game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.[14]

Marc Gasol, Shane Battier, and Hamed Haddadi are free agents after the 2010-2011 season.[15]

Season-by-season records

Home arenas


Current roster

Memphis Grizzlies rosterv · d · e
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight DOB (Y–M–D) From
SG 9 Allen, Tony 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 213 lb (97 kg) 1982–01–11 Oklahoma State
PF 00 Arthur, Darrell 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1988–03–25 Kansas
SF 31 Battier, Shane (FA) 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1978–09–09 Duke
PG 11 Conley, Mike 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1987–10–11 Ohio State
C 33 Gasol, Marc (FA) 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 265 lb (120 kg) 1985–01–29 Spain
SF 22 Gay, Rudy (C) 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1986–08–17 Connecticut
C 15 Haddadi, Hamed (FA) 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) 265 lb (120 kg) 1985–05–19 Iran
SG 13 Henry, Xavier 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1991–03–15 Kansas
SG 32 Mayo, O. J. 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1987–11–05 Southern California
PF 7 Powe, Leon (FA) 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1984–01–22 California
PF 50 Randolph, Zach (C) 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 260 lb (118 kg) 1981–07–16 Michigan State
PG 2 Selby, Josh (DP) 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 183 lb (83 kg) 1991-03-27 Kansas
PG 5 Smith, Ishmael 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1988–07–05 Wake Forest
PG 21 Vasquez, Greivis 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 211 lb (96 kg) 1987–01–16 Maryland
SF 4 Young, Sam 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1985–06–01 Pittsburgh
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Athletic trainer(s)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured
  • * High school

Last transaction: 2011-06-29

Jason Williams

Franchise and NBA records

Career statistical leaders

Per game statistical leaders

Individual awards

All-NBA Third Team

NBA All-Defensive Second Team

NBA All-Rookie First Team

NBA All-Rookie Second Team

Television and radio

The Grizzles appear on television on the cable channel SportSouth, owned and operated by Fox Sports Net as a sister station to Fox Sports Tennessee. The TV crew is Pete Pranica on commentary, Brevin Knight or Sean Tuohy on color analysis, and Rob Fischer on sideline reporting.

On radio, the Grizzlies are heard on WRBO 103.5 FM. The radio crew is Eric Hasseltine on commentary, and Hank McDowell and Elliot Perry on analysis.


Head coaches

General managers


  1. ^ David Williams, Grizzlies partners truly in minority, The Commercial Appeal, March 27, 2008.
  2. ^ "NBA rejects Memphis Express moniker". 2001-05-22. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  3. ^ Yahoo! Sports - Sports News, Scores, Rumors, Fantasy Games, and more
  4. ^ . [dead link]
  5. ^ Springer, Shira (2007-06-19). "GM Wallace joins Grizzlies". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  6. ^ "Grizzlies name Gene Bartow President of Hoops LP". 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  7. ^ ESPN - In dire need of frontcourt help, Lakers acquire Gasol from Grizzlies - NBA
  8. ^ "Gasol dealt to Lakers in blockbuster trade". Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  9. ^ "Grizzlies introduce Lionel Hollins as new coach". 
  10. ^ Grizzlies Officially Waive Iverson, "Grizzlies officially waive Iverson", Yahoo! News, November 17, 2009.
  11. ^ "Randolph, Conley lead Grizzlies past Kings 101-96", accessed April 9, 2011.
  12. ^ "Grizzlies pull away from top-seeded Spurs to seize 3-1 series lead". ESPN. Accessed April 26, 2011
  13. ^ "Grizzlies hold on, win series 4-2 to stun top-seeded Spurs". ESPN. Accessed April 30, 2011
  14. ^ "Thunder oust Grizzlies as Kevin Durant answers bell with 39-point Game 7". ESPN. Accessed May 15, 2011
  15. ^ "HoopsHype", Memphis Grizzlies Salaries, accessed March 1, 2011.

External links

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