The Vancouver Grizzlies were a professional basketball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
They were part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was established in 1995, along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. Following the 2000–01 season, the team relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, United States, and are known as the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies played their home games at General Motors Place for the entirety of their 6 seasons in Vancouver. Like most expansion teams, the Grizzlies struggled in their early years. The team finished last in the division in five of its seasons, and never managed to win more than 30 percent of its games in any of the team's seasons in Vancouver. In total, the team won 101 games, lost 359, and never qualified for the NBA playoffs.
The two expansion teams were denied early draft picks in the first season, but the Grizzlies secured Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1996. The team continued to lose games despite high draft picks. After they selected Steve Francis as second pick in 1999, he refused to play in Vancouver and was traded away.
After the 1998–99 lockout, lower attendance and a weak Canadian dollar caused the owner Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment to start losing money on the franchise. After a failed attempt to sell the team to Bill Laurie, it was instead sold to Michael Heisley and subsequently moved to Memphis, Tennessee for the 2001–02 season.
Source, modified: http://wikipedia.org
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