The Vancouver Grizzlies are a BASKETBALL team. Spurred on by the intent of the National Basketball Association to expand to Toronto, VANCOUVER CANUCKS owner Arthur Griffiths launched a bid to secure an NBA expansion franchise for Vancouver in 1993. GM Place, already under construction for his hockey team, was easily modified to accommodate basketball.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) quickly agreed that two franchises in Canada suited their expansion goals, and it awarded teams to both Vancouver and Toronto (see TORONTO RAPTORS). Stu Jackson was hired to run the team, which on 11 August 1994 officially became known as the Grizzlies. The team had originally chosen the name "Vancouver Mounties," but decided on Grizzlies after objections from representatives of the RCMP.
The team opened their first season in 1995-96 with a pair of victories but won only 13 more games all year. They also established a league record by losing 23 consecutive games at one point during the season. By the end of the 1996-97 season the team had slipped to 14 wins, the lowest in the league. They continued to struggle on the court and at the gate through the 1999-2000 season. In 2001, a group from Memphis, Tennessee, purchased the team and it became the Memphis Grizzlies. The Raptors remain as Canada's only NBA team.