Memphis Grizzlies – The Grizzlies were birthed in the mid-1990’s as part of the NBA’s expansion into Canada. Originally based in Vancouver, the franchise joined the league’s Western Conference while the Eastern Conference served as home to the newly formed Toronto Raptors.
The Grizzlies would call Vancouver home for their first six seasons, but they averaged just 16.8 wins per season while there. The poor play led to little support for the upstart franchise and, as a result, it bolted the Canada for Memphis, Tennessee in 2001.
The club’s first two seasons in Memphis were difficult as well, but the Grizzlies did record a then franchise best 28 wins in 2003. Real breakthrough came in the team’s 2003-2004 campaign, though, when it scored 50 wins and made its first ever postseason appearance.
Memphis also went on to qualify for the playoffs in 2005 and 2006, but on both occasions it was eliminated in the opening round.
The franchise entered its golden age in 2010, following a four-year run which saw the team win a total of 108 games. The Grizzlies reeled off five consecutive playoff appearance and they averaged 53.7 wins per season between 2013 and 2015. Three times during that period they reached the Western Conference Semifinals and they made their first Western Conference Finals showing in 2013.
Notable players to play for the Grizzlies franchise include the Gasol brothers Marc and Pau, Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Zach Randolph.
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