|Team colors||Memphis Midnight Blue, Beale Street Blue, B.B. King Blue, Grizzlies Gold, White
|General manager||Chris Wallace|
|Head coach||Lionel Hollins|
|D-League affiliate||Reno Bighorns|
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). The Grizzlies play their home games at FedExForum. The team's majority owner is Robert Pera. The Grizzlies were established in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1995. The team relocated to Memphis in 2001. They are also the only team out of the four major professional leagues that plays in Memphis.
The Grizzlies applied with the NBA to relocate to Memphis on March 26, 2001 and it was granted. Memphis became the easternmost city in the Western Conference. In their first three seasons in Memphis, the Grizzlies played their home games at the Pyramid Arena.
In the 2001 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks chose 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 Knight's departure and the [] 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 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 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, 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 improved and the team advanced to the postseason for the second consecutive season. However, the Grizzlies were swept out in the first round again, this time by the Phoenix Suns. After the season, which ended 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 veterans. While the Grizzlies lost Wells, 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 had the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and would 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 and Stromile Swift. Before the 2006–07 season, they suffered a 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.1 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.2
The Grizzlies finished the 2006–07 season with a league's worst 22–60, and Jerry West announced resignation from his position as the team's general manager shortly after the end of the regular season. The team also hired Marc Iavaroni, who was previously with the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach, to be the team's new head coach. Despite the 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..
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.3 A few days later, they 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, 2007.4 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.56
On January 22, 2009, head coach Marc Iavaroni was fired and replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Johnny Davis for two games. Lionel Hollins was named the Grizzlies' permanent head coach on January 25, 2009.7
On June 25, 2009, with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, Memphis selected Hasheem Thabeet, then selected DeMarre Carroll with the 27th overall pick. On September 9, 2009, the Grizzlies signed free agent Allen Iverson to a single year, $3.5 million deal. He only played three games (none in Memphis) before he left for "personal problems." He was then waived by the Grizzlies.8 Following Iverson's departure, the Grizzlies 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, 40–42.
Going into the 2010–2011 season the Grizzlies celebrated the tenth year of basketball in Memphis. The season started with tremendous enthusiasm by the fanbase in the Memphis area. Although the Grizzlies and their fans were celebrating the tenth season, the Grizzlies were also cheering for the 8th spot in the Western Conference Playoffs. They finished with a 46–36 record.
The Grizzlies found their way back into the post-season for the first time in five years in the 2010-11 NBA season after a 101–96 home victory over the Sacramento Kings on April 8, 2011.9 While in the playoff hunt in February 2011, the Grizzlies traded Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll, and a protected future first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for Shane Battier and Ishmael Smith.
The team became known locally and nationally for its "Grit and Grind"-style of basketball which means disruptive defense through high pressure on the ball (they were the team with the most steals per game in 2010–11) and inside-out offense (they were the highest scoring team in the paint also). 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, 2011.10 Finally, on April 29, the team won their first playoff series when they beat the Spurs in game 6, 99–91 to win the series 4 games to 2. This was only the fourth time in NBA history that an 8 seed defeated a 1 seed, and only the second time in a best-of-seven series (the first two were in a best-of-five series).11 The Grizzlies' historic season came to an end after the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated them in game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.12
The Grizzlies found their way back into the post-season for the second time in six years in the 2011-12 NBA season after a 103–91 home victory over the New Orleans Hornets on April 18, 2012. They finished the 2011-2012 season with a 41-25 record, 4th in the Western Conference. However, they were eliminated in the first round by the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games.
During the 2012 offseason, the Grizzlies drafted Tony Wroten with the 25th overall pick. Their biggest signing in effort to improve their bench was bringing in Jerryd Bayless. They also acquired Wayne Ellington from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Dante Cunningham. In June 2012, Michael Heisley agreed to sell the Grizzlies to Robert Pera.
The Grizzlies started the 2012-13 NBA season with a loss to Clippers. However, since the loss, they started a winning streak and obtained a Season PCT of 0.857 only second behind New York Knicks, but became the first team to defeat them, thus ending their winning streak and a perfect PCT, Memphis earned a higher PCT of .875. The Grizzlies held the best record in the league at various times in the beginning weeks of the season.
On January 30, 2013, the Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi to the Toronto Raptors in a three team deal also involving the Detroit Pistons. The Grizzlies acquired Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye from the Pistons and Ed Davis and a future second-round pick from the Raptors.15
At the end of the season, Memphis finished 2nd in the Division and as the 5th seed in the Playoffs. Also, Marc Gasol was NBA Defensive Player of the Year. In the opening round, Memphis defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in 6 Games after trailing in the series 0-2. This avenged their defeat from the previous year at the hands of the Clippers. Memphis then went on to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history when they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1 in their semi-finals series. This was a rematch of their meeting in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, which the Thunder won in 7 games.
On June 11, 2012, sources told ESPN.com that Michael Heisley had an agreement in principle to sell the Memphis Grizzlies to communications technology magnate Robert J. Pera, who at 34 had a spot on Forbes' 2012 list of the 10 youngest billionaries in the world.16
The purchase price was in the $350 million range, sources said. On August 23, 2012, prospective Grizzlies owner Robert Pera reached an agreement with a group of local partners including J.R. "Pitt" Hyde, Staley Cates, Ed Dobbs, Duncan Williams and Billy Orgel.17
On October 25, 2012, Robert Pera was officially approved as the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies. On November 4, 2012, Pera named Jason Levien the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of the Memphis Grizzlies.18 19 On December 13, 2012, ESPN announced that John Hollinger was hired by the Grizzlies as their new Vice President of Basketball Operations.
- General Motors Place (1995–2001)
Memphis Grizzlies roster
- Games–Rudy Gay (479)
- Minutes Played–Rudy Gay (17,338)
- Field Goals Made–Pau Gasol (3,286)
- Field Goals Attempted–Pau Gasol (6,459)
- 3-Point Field Goals Made–Mike Miller (737)
- 3-Point Field Goals Attempted–Mike Miller (1,778)
- Free Throws Made–Pau Gasol (2,284)
- Free Throws Attempted–Pau Gasol (3,130)
- Offensive Rebounds–Pau Gasol (1,187)
- Defensive Rebounds–Pau Gasol (2,864)
- Total Rebounds–Pau Gasol (4,051)
- Assists–Mike Conley (2,085)
- Steals–Mike Conley (537)
- Blocked Shots–Pau Gasol (868)
- Turnovers–Pau Gasol (1,224)
- Personal Fouls–Bryant Reeves (1,365)
- Points–Pau Gasol (8,872)
- Minutes Played–O.J. Mayo (38.0)
- Field Goals Made–Shareef Abdur-Rahim (7.43)
- Field Goals Attempted–Shareef Abdur-Rahim (16.03)
- 3-Point Field Goals Made–Mike Miller (2.0)
- 3-Point Field Goals Attempted–Jason Williams (5.38)
- Free Throws Made–Shareef Abdur-Rahim (5.73)
- Free Throws Attempted–Shareef Abdur-Rahim (7.15)
- Offensive Rebounds–Shareef Abdur-Rahim (2.53)
- Defensive Rebounds–Pau Gasol (7.3)
- Total Rebounds–Pau Gasol (9.8)
- Assists–Mike Bibby (7.83)
- Steals–Greg Anthony (1.83)
- Blocked Shots–Pau Gasol (2.1)
- Turnovers–Shareef Abdur-Rahim (3.06)
- Personal Fouls–Bryant Reeves (3.46)
- Points–Shareef Abdur-Rahim (23.8)
- Pau Gasol – 2002
- Hubie Brown – 2004
- Jerry West – 2004
- Mike Miller – 2006
- Marc Gasol – 2013
- Hubie Brown (contributor) – 2005
- Zach Randolph – 2011
- Tony Allen – 2012, 2013
- Shareef Abdur-Rahim – 1997
- Mike Bibby – 1999
- Pau Gasol – 2002
- Shane Battier – 2002
- Drew Gooden – 2003
- Rudy Gay – 2007
- O.J. Mayo – 2009
The Grizzlies 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.
- Stu Jackson–1994–2000
- Billy Knight–2000–2002
- Dick Versace–2002–2005
- Jerry West–2005–2007
- Chris Wallace–2007–present
The Grizzlies launched a program called "Friends of Grizz", with donations and proceedings going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
- Yahoo! Sports – Sports News, Scores, Rumors, Fantasy Games, and more
- http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/basketball/nba/12/28/bc.bkn.grizzlies.fratello.ap/index.html. Missing or empty
- Springer, Shira (2007-06-19). "GM Wallace joins Grizzlies". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
- "Grizzlies name Gene Bartow President of Hoops LP". NBA.com. 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
- ESPN – In dire need of frontcourt help, Lakers acquire Gasol from Grizzlies – NBA
- "Gasol dealt to Lakers in blockbuster trade". Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- "Grizzlies introduce Lionel Hollins as new coach".
- Grizzlies Officially Waive Iverson, "Grizzlies officially waive Iverson", Yahoo! News, November 17, 2009.
- "Randolph, Conley lead Grizzlies past Kings 101–96", accessed April 9, 2011.
- "Grizzlies pull away from top-seeded Spurs to seize 3–1 series lead". ESPN. Accessed April 26, 2011
- "Grizzlies hold on, win series 4–2 to stun top-seeded Spurs". ESPN. Accessed April 30, 2011
- "Thunder oust Grizzlies as Kevin Durant answers bell with 39-point Game 7". ESPN. Accessed May 15, 2011
- "HoopsHype", Memphis Grizzlies Salaries, accessed March 1, 2011.
- "Grizzlies trade Marreese Speights, Josh Selby to Cavaliers".
- "Grizzlies trade Rudy Gay to Raptors in three-team deal with Pistons".
- ESPN article "Deal for Grizzlies reached". ESPN. Accessed June 11, 2012
- NBA.com article "Grizzlies name Jason Levien Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner". NBA.com. Accessed November 7, 2012
- ESPN article "Owners approve sale of Grizzlies". ESPN. Accessed November 7, 2012
- "About Grizz | The Official Site Of The Memphis Grizzlies". Nba.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "Grizzlies Mascot Named NBA Mascot Of The Year - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports". NewsChannel5.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "NBA Mascot of the Year: ‘Grizz’ of the Memphis Grizzlies". Slam Online. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
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