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Thread: Vancouver: Why Didn't The NBA Succeed There? Version 2.0

  1. #201
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    Vancouver Grizzlies fans' first day to ugly cry over the sight of seeing their original Pacific turquoise throwback road unis with the BC Aboriginal motif and original Grizz logo on the shorts will come this Saturday night. When Memphis faces that low down and dirty Now Deservedly Crumbling Evil Laker Empire in all of its moral corruption, arrogance, viciousness, narcissism, wickedness, and oppressive evil. That, and the debut of the new Grizzlies history court. Next time will be less than a week later on Black Friday when Utah comes to town. Go Grizz! Achieve what Vancouver couldn't do the first time around:
    https://www.grizzlybearblues.com/201...-vs-lakers-nba

    Surely, Vancouver fans are so jealous of Toronto right now that the franchise got its rings even when they supported them during the playoffs campaign.

    Nearby along Vancouver Island, the British Columbia capital city of Victoria was chosen by FIBA to be among the four hosts of next June 23-28's FIBA World Olympic Qualification Tournaments along with Kaunas in Lithuania, Belgrade in Serbia, and Split in Croatia. Games will be played at the 7000-seat Save-On Foods Memorial Centre (that's the FIBA minimum for capacity but expandable to 8000) under two groups of 3 format with the group winners squaring off for the sole spot out of it. Canada's top NBA talent are expected to make themselves available and play (and are very interested) under Nick Nurse and are an odds-on fave to make it back to the Olympics for the first time in 20 years. No need to travel overseas for this. But Canada Basketball shouldn't take this lightly with perhaps a good European team or two in this, no matter favo(u)rably it may turn out draw-wise even with some European powerhouses hosting--could get Italy for example. No excuses now when this important time for Canadian international basketball since Toronto and Hamilton co-hosted the 1994 World Basketball Championship. FIBA charged $3 million for this with an unidentified businessman and basketball fan footing hugely to the bill and free up dates in the Memorial Centre. Victoria's proud basketball history like University of Victoria winning multiple national championships certainly played a role. This will be months after the TCL Victoria Basketball Tournament, an all-women's NCAA basketball tournament:
    https://www.timescolonist.com/news/l...ent-1.24009776
    https://www.timescolonist.com/canadi...lated_articles
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...er-victoria-in
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...ing-qualifier/
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/olympics/ca...ng-tournament/
    https://www.tsn.ca/canadian-men-will...oria-1.1398265

    That Victoria Invitational starts next Thursday under our US Thanksgiving at the University of Victoria's CARSA Performance Gym from November 28-30. This all-women's NCAA basketball tournament will feature Wisconsin-Green Bay, San Francisco, 2x NCAA champion Stanford (comes with a top-rated incoming freshman recruiting class), Houston, Bowling Green, Syracuse, California Baptist, and 2x NCAA finalist Mississippi St. Will have a consolation round along with advancement. Starts with perennial mid-major power Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix versus Bowling Green followed by San Francisco vs. Mississippi St. and Houston vs. Syracuse, and ends with the all-Cali battle between Stanford and California Baptist all on the first day:
    http://victoriainvitational.com/
    http://victoriainvitational.com/2019...oving-to-uvic/
    http://victoriainvitational.com/2019...y-of-langford/
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  2. #202
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    Not even the inspiration of wearing the franchise's original turquoise road uniforms for the first time since 1999, that 25th anniversary court, or Montell Jordan singing his 90s hit "This Is How We Do It" sporting a Jaren Jackson Jr. version of that were enough for the Memphis Grizzlies to stop the Now Deservedly Crumbling Evil Laker Empire in a 109-108 FedEx Forum home loss. Should've. No excuse! Still only got one win against them next to the franchise's name where there should be more. ONE!

    Meanwhile back in Vancouver, outrage and saltiness are the expected reaction in why Memphis dared to do this. Mike Bibby once hated these jerseys when he joined as a rookie draftee. When Vancouver first presented them before even tipping off in 1994, these were met with a mixed reception in an era full of experimentation and unorthodoxy ruling. Now they possess a 90s cool and desirability as a leading retro jerseys sellers:
    https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/memp...zzlies-jerseys

    Fraser Valley Bandits have a new coach in the CEBL to succeed Peter Guarasci, and he has a championship pedigree from NBL Canada that will help the Bandits' fortunes. Details next post!
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  3. #203
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    Only two Vancouver Grizzlies employees remain on the staff in Memphis since the Vancouver to Memphis south of the border move in 2001:
    https://dailymemphian.com/subscriber...his-connection

    Fraser Valley Bandits new coach/GM starting in 2020 is Kyle Julius, who took the London Lightning to the 2017 NBL Canada championship and was with the Mississauga Power, the Saigon Heat for two seasons in the ASEAN Basketball League, and now with the Taiwan-based Formosa Dreams. The Bandits have nowhere else to go but up with his cred:
    https://www.abbynews.com/sports/fras...neral-manager/

    Bandits 2020 CEBL schedule now out with home games at the Abbotsford Events Centre bookend the season's beginning and the end. 2020 begins for FV with a home and home series with CEBL defending champs Saskatchewan before a home date with Hamilton. Will only play road games for a three week stretch that includes their first trip to see the new Ottawa Blackjacks on June 11 at the TD Place Arena/Ottawa Civic Centre (first home game with them is June 18 to start a three-game home stretch). June 20 home game versus Saskatchewan will be live on CBC in Canada. 3-game home stand ends on August 6 with Guelph:
    https://www.abbynews.com/sports/fras...dule-released/
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  4. #204
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    So much has been made about Steve Francis' major reluctance to play for the Vancouver Grizzlies when he was drafted by the franchise back in 1999 out of Maryland. He expressed nothing but outward shock and disappointment on draft night. Now with over 20 years later with hindsight, we can clearly see how this impacted the Grizz's long-term prospects in British Columbia. Certainly weren't going to remain there for long. Actually, Mike Bibby, fresh from being at the University of Arizona and a national champion, had his own initial reluctance to play in Vancouver but later embraced the city for a team wishing for a young All-Rookie point guard of the future during this 1998-2000 stretch when the Vancouver Grizzlies landed the overall #2 pick.

    Francis, the eventual NBA Rookie of the Year selection in 2000, however, was unquestionably the most impactful pick on the franchise and was supposed to provide that much-needed star power piece to turn the corner with Bibby, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Bryant "Big Country" Reeves, and Michael Dickerson on the court at the GM Place downtown like with Vince Carter was doing in Toronto and greatly improve the young team's all-around fortunes in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. Unfortunately, that Francis impact was exclusively negative for Vancouver as he never played a game with them. It was just a personnel preference for Stevie Franchise not to suit up for Vancouver. Nothing over injuries or a trade. No matter how much then-GM Stu Jackson and fellow Grizzlies management personnel tried to show him all around this beautiful city to get him to embrace it and play for them, as they previously experienced with Bibby, like taking him to Virgin Megastore and buy rap CDs, showing him downtown like the library, and face the hurt local Vancouver and Canadian media to soothe the sulking snub, the writing was on the wall for no forthcoming reconciliation. The hope was present for not just Francis be the final crucial piece providing the excitement and entertainment value, that flavo(u)r, that interest like his aerial dunks in an otherwise largely yeoman basketball team lacking that oomph to attract the casual Western Canadians basketball fans in a still very young BC basketball market to make Vancouver relevant like never before but also improve its desperately-needed off-court financial fortunes. Imagine a Bibby-Francis backcourt dream tandem, albeit one of the smaller ones in the NBA at the time (and a couple of ex-Terrapins in Tony Massenburg and Obinna Ekezie also on the roster). Alas, Francis, wishing not to be so far away from his family, never shared their vision and his lackluster efforts to make amends over a tumultuous two-month span that proved was a turning point and proved fatal to Vancouver. Eventually, he was sent to Houston in a three team deal. And a wrath of boos when he returned to Vancouver in his first NBA game there.

    Both immediate futures took separate divesting paths. Francis started off hot and became Rookie of the Year and would become an All-Star three consecutive years within his first five in the league for Houston. His immediate success and evolution into an NBA star confirmed that he was the franchise cornerstone Vancouver had envisioned him to be. However, Stevie Franchise's success was short-lived as "off the court issues and a decline in his on-court production cut what could have been a special career short" by the time Francis played his final NBA game at the age of 30 with stints in Orlando, New York, Beijing Ducks before an ill-fated NBA comeback leaving him unwanted. He certainly is remembered far more for a "could've, should've" long career than what he was. Furthermore, Francis has not strayed away from the same demeanor and mindset that led to his trade from Vancouver and many of the issues he faced in his career. We already know about Vancouver's fate with the acknowledgement of several other factors involved but the Francis saga served as an indicator that NBA basketball wasn't going to survive much longer in Vancouver. Did create a reality to pave for Memphis yet it was the dream was to create success for BC city with Francis as the final piece. Once the Memphis move was made though, the impact and fallout on the Grizzlies was minimized and short-lived when Pau Gasol and later his brother Marc were drafted, Mike Conley, acquisition of Zach Randolph and Jason Williams, Lionel Hollins and Hubie Brown as coaches, and the creation of the Grit 'n Grind era.

    Curiously and incidentally with some synergy 20 years later from that very low moment in the franchise's history, Memphis is presently perceived to be on thin ice in the NBA long term and facing uncertainty like Vancouver was. But it finally landed a highly-touted highly-drafted NBA rookie superstar in the making in Ja Morant out of Murray St., seen by some as possessesing a next-generation game and similar production from Francis, embraces the city (never sulked) with his persona and mindset with the Grizz's current playing style. Morant even excitedly embraces playing in Vancouver's 1995-1999 retro Pacific Turquoise road uniforms. Team actually playing much better with him right now at a time when Grit N Grind is clearly over. So there's hope. Just too bad Morant isn't with them in Vancouver:
    https://www.grizzlybearblues.com/201...lies-ja-morant
    https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs...040-story.html

    Steve Francis detailed his perspective of how the Vancouver Grizzlies saga unfolded in 2018 for the Players Tribune. But with no regrets in a "sorry but not really sorry" to "freezing-ass Canada [or Vancouver, British Columbia specifically]" for what happened save for "the rudest press conference ever in NBA history". Guess Francis will forever be a villain to Vancouver Grizzlies fans:
    https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en...-story-to-tell
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  5. #205
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    Shaq admits hating to play opposite Vancouver's Bryant "Big Country" Reeves largely because, despite possessing his own bulk, of his ability to shoot from 15 feet with "the ugliest [Kevin] Duckworth one-hand jumper" shooting form always frustrated him, Basketball Network and NBATV's Open Court reported:
    https://www.basketballnetwork.net/sh...a-big-country/

    Vancouver native Brandon Clarke says wearing those original turquoise Vancouver Grizzlies road jerseys during Memphis games is a "surreal" experience evn though he doesn't remember experiencing them all that much:
    https://www.commercialappeal.com/sto...ke/4275438002/

    Shareef Abdur-Rahim's son and Amir's nephew Jabri may not recall his dad's playing days all that much and knows more about executive duties, but he is making a name for himself on the hardwood as a serious top-40 Class of 2020 recruit from the Blair Academy Buccaneers in New Jersey and at the EYBL. Recruited by Tony Bennett's Virginia Cavaliers:
    https://www.slamonline.com/college-h...r-rahim-story/

    Lawrence Moten, one of Vancouver's first ever draft picks back in 1995 and played there for the first two seasons, got hono(u)red recently at Westmoreland, New York with his own night at a Westmoreland boys basketball game (a loss for them) for his youth basketball program there:
    https://romesentinel.com/stories/law...moreland,88614
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  6. #206
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    Saturday was another Vancouver Grizzlies Night at FedEx Forum. On this occasion, Vancouver-sporting Memphis beats the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-109 while withstanding a late Cavs push:
    https://www.grizzlybearblues.com/202...-cleveland-nba
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  7. #207
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    A 60-second timelapse at Memphis' FedEx Forum showing off the new classic-inspired Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies 25th anniversary court from the regular one:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuBf7Rv2xLY

    Where's Brian Winters, the first Vancouver Grizzlies head coach, nowdays? Scouting in the Western region for the Indiana Pacers based out of Denver. Misses coaching in spite of the 36-148 NBA record with both Vancouver and Golden St. when both obviously weren't really good:
    https://www.thestate.com/sports/coll...239497243.html

    Since Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the 7 other people who perished are on the minds of many including me this week, Kobe didn't have much of a connection with Vancouver outside of playing a few games early in his NBA career like he did more with Toronto up in Canada because of the 2001 move to Memphis after six years of progressive disengagement and comic dysfunction--only 15 game and oppressively winning 14 of them. But it was up against Vancouver inside the then-called General Motors Place was where he got his first career triple double. His first trip on a January 5, 1997 game there was nothing special as a 18-year old teenage rookie but there were some foreshadowing of what was to come. Should've helped Vancouver instead...

    Right after the NHL All-Star Weekend in my hometown St. Louis on the Monday after he died, former co-tenannts the NHL's Vancouver Canucks paid tribute to him before the Canucks-St. Louis Blues game, clearly showing his reknown transcends basketball. Even the next door BC Place Stadium had purple and gold lights like Rogers Arena did:
    https://elitesportsny.com/2020/01/28...to-the-future/
    https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/kobe...ks-hockey-game

    His last pro visit to Vancouver came on March 3, 2001. He scored 20 points against the Grizzlies before the move at a time when NDCELE was at the height of its Reign of Terror. Attendance spiked for they wanted to see them:
    https://www.citynews1130.com/2020/01...ant-vancouver/

    You see how former Vancouver Grizzlies guard Mike Bibby got jacked up since playing? Looking more like Mr. Olympia than a guard hitting the gym:
    https://www.foxnews.com/sports/nba-m...acked-behemoth
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  8. #208
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    Perhaps a major culprit that lead to the demise of the Vancouver Grizzlies in 2001 took place very early on and not just the 1994 entry date, late of Toronto's, with the General Motors Place (now Rogers Arena) itself. A downtown Vancouver arena project, based on the Pacific Coliseum's long-term location and viability concerns in Arthur Griffith's eyes, due to mounting and deferred construction costs, a weak Canadian dollar (whose role will significantly follow it all along Vancouver's 6-year stint), the NHL's 1994-95 lockout suffocating the revenue stream, and a massive US$125 million NBA expansion fee for the Grizzlies at the 5-acre former Expo 86 site ultimately caused the underfunded Griffiths and the mom and pop Northwest Sports to sell off control and ownership to John McCaw, who turned it into Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment. A clear sign North American pro sports was becoming corporatized. Arthur Griffith's ambition far outpaced his financial pocketbook depth and became out of place "among the suave, young Seattle yuppies that came in to run the show.” Could McCaw turned things around had he stayed on? Sure. But Vancouver, among other things, was treated by the NBA with some impunity as an expansion team and hired more successful basketball execs:
    https://theprovince.com/sports/hocke...f-rogers-arena

    Flashing back to Vancouver's glitzy GM Place with the Vancouver Province when the arena was new in downtown Vancouver back in 1995. Vancouver residents came away blown with the upscale amenities, presentations, and characteristics it had that was rapidly becoming commonplace Stateside with its newer arenas at the time and since:
    https://theprovince.com/sports/hocke...owed-by-prices
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  9. #209
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    Definitely goes without saying in the NBA expansion context that Seattle deserves its SuperSonics back, quickly as feasibly possible. But where Nick Hosseinzadeh from this Daily Hive opinion piece and I largely differ is that Vancouver, IMO, is just as deserving to have the NBA return. Hosseinzadeh feels Vancouver doesn't support its pro teams it already has strong enough with its fans in comparison to Seattle as to why. Thus, the British Columbia metropolis isn't "deserving" of NBA action. He must realize there were factors working against the Grizzlies at the time being an expansion team like draft restrictions placed on it. I feel Vancouver sports right now, as he points out, is undergoing a down period that all teams and local fan bases deal with at some point in their existence. Nothing permanent. Some teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs sell out home games even when struggling over the years but usually not every pro team. Not even my Phoenix Suns. Bear in mind, this even happens to blue blood franchises that are established in the local sports scene for many decades like the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the British Columbia Lions. So this isn't necessarily supporting and "loving me at my worst, do you deserve me at my best".

    But as I have said throughout this thread, the city would have to wait unless the NBA decides to pull a mid-1980s decision and adds four NBA markets in 1987 instead of the original two-team plan in this supposed expansion derby; adding Seattle would make the NBA feel the Pacific Northwest footprint is replenished. Do agree with him that local Vancouver pro basketball fans can support the nearby Fraser Valley Bandits in the CEBL during the summer for pro basketball, although the Canadian Elite Basketball League is eyeing Vancouver several years down the line as a future expansion city. That, and the Canada West schools at or reasonably near Vancouver--UBC, Simon Fraser, Fraser Valley, Trinity Western. Kawhi Leonard and Steve Francis notwithstanding, a growing number of American pro basketball players in the NBA actually see Canada as a desirable destination. The Claw wanted to eventually return home to Southern California although he did later cop to Canada and Toronto specifically growing on him during his one-season stint while on the NBA championship march. Within two decades, Vancouver has to be seen as a viable MLB and NBA expansion candidate (forget the NFL); the Canadian west coast can't be denied forever.
    https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/seat...ncouver-doesnt

    Have to admit an NBA team in Vancouver would pose some financial challenges some like back from 1995-2001 and newer ones. NBA owners must shell out well over US$100-million annually to stay competitive, and if there’s an advantage Seattle certainly has presently over Vancouver it's in adequate corporate sponsorship. Possible but not without some understandable present doubts this Vancouver region can support more than two teams in the Big 4 major leagues (NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB), especially with the Canadian dollar so low. I can see no more than 3 with MLB not seriously overlapping the Grizz, NLL's Warriors, and Canucks but would with the Whitecaps and Lions.

    Kat Jayme's Finding Big Country aired on ESPN yesterday. It already played months ago on NBA TV Canada:
    https://www.tulsaworld.com/sports/co...e93470a18.html
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

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