Memphis Grizzlies is a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Western Conference Southwest Division. The Grizzlies play their home games at FedExForum.
The team is owned by Robert Pera. The Grizzlies are currently the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues based in the city of Memphis.
1. The name “Grizzlies” was chosen through a fan vote.
“Grizzlies” was one of six finalist names and received more than 50% of the 6,000 votes cast.
2. The team colors – blue, green, and gold – were also chosen through a fan vote.
These are the colors of the University of Memphis, where the Grizzlies used to play their home games.
3. The Grizzlies began life as the Vancouver Grizzlies, an expansion team that joined the NBA for the 1995-96 season.
After six seasons in Vancouver, the team moved to Memphis for the 2001-02 season.
4. In their first season in Memphis, the Grizzlies set an NBA record for most losses in a season, finishing with a 23-59 record.
They followed that up by setting a league record for fewest wins in a season, going 8-42 in 2002-03.
5. The Grizzlies have never won an NBA championship.
They have, however, won two division titles – in 2004-05 and 2012-13.
6. The Grizzlies have had some success in the playoffs, reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2013.
However, they have never made it to the NBA Finals.
7. The team’s all-time leading scorer is Rudy Gay, who played for the Grizzlies from 2006 to 2013.
He currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs.
8. The Grizzlies’ all-time leading rebounder is Zach Randolph, who played for the team from 2009 to 2017.
He is currently a member of the Sacramento Kings.
9. The Grizzlies have retired two numbers – Jerry West’s #44 and Pau Gasol’s #16.
West, a Hall of Famer, was the team’s first general manager and is considered the “father” of the franchise. Gasol, a two-time NBA champion, is the franchise’s all-time leader in points and rebounds.
10. The Grizzlies are one of four teams in the NBA with a mascot named after its city (the others are the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, and Dallas Mavericks).
The Grizzlies’ mascot is a bear named Grit & Grind.