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Grizzlies gone: Vancouver loses its NBA franchise

The Story

It took just six years to determine that Vancouver and a perennially bad basketball team simply don't mix. Since its inaugural season in 1995-96, the NBA's Grizzlies have continued to lose, a lot, and Vancouverites have never warmed to the franchise. A change of ownership wasn't enough to keep the team in B.C., even though that's precisely what Michael Heisley vowed to do when he bought the club in 2000. Now the franchise has applied to move to Memphis, Tenn. As this 2001 CBC-TV clip from The National shows, some Vancouver sports fans won't be sad to see them go. "NBA players, I think they have real spoiled attitudes, you know, [complaining that] it rains here all the time, that kind of deal," says one man.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: March 26, 2001
Guest(s): Jon Azpiri, Michael Heisley
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Christina Lawand
Duration: 2:23
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.
Grizzlies footage: NBA

Did You know?

• Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment owned the Grizzlies from day one and was set to sell the franchise to Bill Laurie (then owner of the St. Louis Blues) before Michael Heisley came along. But the NBA rejected the deal after Laurie openly stated that he would move the team to St. Louis.

• From 1995-96 to 2000-01, the Vancouver Grizzlies compiled a 101-359 win-loss record for a winning percentage of .220.

• The 1995-96 expansion team lost 23 straight games from February to April, setting an NBA record for consecutive losses in a single season. The record was soon equalled by the Denver Nuggets in the 1997-98 season. The Cleveland Cavaliers hold the all-time mark with 24 straight defeats. They lost their last 19 games in the 1981-82 campaign and their first five contests of the 1982-83 season.




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