The 2007-08 season didnít bring the improvement that fans in Memphis had hoped for, as the Grizzlies finished the season in last place in the Southwest Division for the second season in a row. The good news is that the 2008-09 season looks bright, as the Grizzlies now have 3 former top 10 picks in the starting five: Mike Conley, Rudy Gay and the newly acquired O.J. Mayo. Mayo was brought in as part of a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves that traded Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins and the rights to Kevin Love for Antoine Walker, Marko Jarić, Greg Buckner and the rights to Mayo. The Grizzlies also nabbed power forward Darrell Arthur to assist Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies are a young team still in the process of rebuilding, but with plenty of talent on the roster, as well as the health and energy that only youth can offer, the team is looking to make their mark in the stacked Southwest Division. If you want to see this exciting team in action, get your tickets to FedExForum today!
In 1946, the Toronto Huskies were the first professional basketball team in Canada. The team was a member of the Basketball Association of America, the predecessor of the NBA. In 1995, the NBA expanded north with two new teams, the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies. The Vancouver Grizzlies locked up Brian Winters to be their first head coach. Winters was a long time assistant under Lenny Wilkens, the NBA's all-time winningest coach. The inaugural pick of the Grizzlies was the seven-foot center out of Oklahoma State, Bryant Reeves, aptly referred to as "Big Country."
The team has struggled in the NBA since it joined the league. Expansion is tough, and the Grizzlies learned that first hand. Despite early draft picks and coaching changes, the team struggled in Vancouver. So, in 2001, the Grizzlies packed up and moved to Memphis, Tennessee. The relocated basketball team found itself in a new city and in a new arena, FedExForum. The downtown arena seats 18,000 fans and is located less than one block south of historic Beale Street. The designers of the stadium were interested in building an arena that could capture the energy and excitement of downtown Memphis and bring it inside a basketball arena and entertainment venue.
Memphis is also home to the Memphis Tigers, who are always competitors in basketball in Conference USA, and have the potential to pull a big upset come tournament time. The team often draws tough out-of-conference opponents, such as Illinois, Wake Forest, and Missouri, making tickets tough to come by. The city of Memphis also hosts the Memphis Redbirds, a minor league baseball team in the St. Louis Cardinals system, a flourishing rugby team, the Memphis Blues, and the NFL's Tennessee Oilers, now known as the Tennessee Titans, playing in Memphis since 1997.
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