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Around the Association: 2009-2010 Memphis Grizzlies- Going Back to Vancouver

From LA-LA land to Graceland. GSoM's got you covered!


Thunder's teddy bear when he was growing up as a pudgy kid in the East Bay.

Put a little mayo on it and... JUMP for a look at the 2k9-2k10 Memphis Teddy Bears!

Before we start counting the ways of the super lotto balls for the 2009-2010 Memphis Grizzlies, let's go back... way back.

You probably remember this:

Vancouver Grizzlies Primary Logo
Vancouver Grizzlies primary logo in use from 1996-200 7hc558rh9vls8j6fam4hly46n_medium

A bear with a basketball under script

Or maybe even this:

Vancouver Grizzlies Alternate Logo
Vancouver Grizzlies alternate logo in use from 1996-200 Lgge0xyf2taxz9c4kfms8uuie_medium
A bear claw holding a basketball

But do you remember THIS?

Vancouver Grizzlies Alternate Logo
Vancouver Grizzlies alternate logo in use from 1996-199 R3htbw6ghslnszfkusgr6wvq6_medium
A Native American Bear with a basketball on a circle

FUN-ky piece!

Shout out to Chris Screamer's for the Vancouver Grizzlies logo throwbacks.

AB1's Fav 5 Vancouver Grizzlies of All-Time

5. Bryant Reeves

The Grizzlies inaugural draft selection with the 6th pick in the 1995 draft was a big fella (7-feet 275 pound big) by the name of Big Country who had a pretty short NBA career ended early due to injury (i.e. the Oliver Miller problem). He's considered a bust with 6 year career totals of 12.5 ppg and 6.9 rpg and that insane 6 year $61.8 million contract [see Wikipedia for more].


Vansterdam Best: 2 seasons of 16 ppg and 8 rpg while sprinkling in a swat a game

I will take a second here and note the career averages of the #1 overall pick in that same draft were actually lower than Big Country's at 11.6 ppg and 6.7 rpg.

Who am I talking about? He'll be entering his 15th season in the NBA this year and he's no ordinary Joe! Well, I guess he was. Please put your hands together for...


Joe Smith: Sky was NOT the limit. Nice guy though.


Who's a bigger bust in your book?

4. Mike Bibby

Before he was battling Shaq and the Lakers Bibby was a member of Canada's other NBA squad.



Vansterdam Career:

  • 1998-1999 [age 20]: 13.2 ppg, 6.5 apg, 2.7 rpg, 1.6 stl
  • 1999-2000 [age 21]: 14.5 ppg, 8.1 apg, 3.7 rpg, 1.6 stl
  • 2000-2001 [age 22]: 15.9 ppg, 8.4 apg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3

Oddly enough the closest Bibby ever got to those assist totals post-Vancouver was 6.8 apg with the Sacramento Kings in 2004-2005. During most of his post-Vancouver days his assist average was ~5 apg.

So why would you trade an up and coming PG with those kind of totals at that young age? If I remember correctly the Vancouver Grizz were in full blow-out mode and there was some serious beef between Bibby and fellow Pac-10 alum Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

3. Michael Dickerson

Before his sad early retirement at the age of 28 in Memphis [CBC Sports], Dickerson was a solid swingman teaming up with Arizona backcourt buddy Mike Bibby in the Vancouver backcourt. Because of injuries he only played a total of 10 games in his last two seasons with the Grizzlies when they moved to Memphis. It was abundantly clear that the hoops gods wanted Dickerson to be a VANCOUVER Grizzlie, not a MEMPHIS Grizzlie.




Just ask the legendary Knick and Warrior John Starks.

Dickerson was quite the enforcer in Vancouver.

Vansterdam Best: 18.2 ppg in 1999-2000

2. Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Todd Bozeman's greatest Cal hoops recruit SAR was a supremely talented balla who took home Pac-10 player of the year honors as a freshman. Abdur-Rahim has had a very nice NBA career, but I was honestly expecting much more from him back in 1996. I was thinking potential Hall of Famer <sigh>, but things didn't exactly go down like that. His odd 1.5 season stint in Portland really seemed to be end of SAR's path to stardom. Back then any time spent in Jail(Blazers) would do that to you.



Vansterdam Career:

  • 1996-1997 (All-NBA Rookie 1st Team) [age 20]: 18.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.2 ast, 1.0 blk, 1.0 stl
  • 1997-1998 [age 21]: 22.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 0.9 blk, 1.1 stl
  • 1998-1999 [age 22]: 23.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.1 blk, 1.4 stl
  • 1999-2000 [age 23]: 20.3 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.1 blk, 1.1 stl
  • 2000-2001 [age 24]: 20.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.0 blk, 1.1 stl
Quite a nice body of work from the young hoops prodigy who made a fun pit stop at The People's Republic of Berkeley. Compare SAR's early production to current and recent past young Warrior forwards and supposed "building blocks" of the mythically bright future... oh, I'll spare you the details.

1. Steve Francis


Stevie didn't exactly give Vancouver the thumbs up to select him with the 2nd overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft.

Here's an often ignored fact for you. Stevie Franchise (questionable nickname) was turnover prone and made a ton of poor decisions with the rock during his stints in Houston (much to Coach Jeff Van Gundy's irritation which led him being shipped out), Orlando, and New York, but he didn't have a single of these during his (very brief) stop in Vancouver. The Grizzlies got the last laugh too [FanHouse].


I guess it all worked out in Graceland.


Vansterdam Best: ZERO turnovers

Which brings us fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you want to slice it with your Graceland bear claws) to the MEMPHIS Grizzlies...

Quick- which player would you rather have after seeing their rookie stats per 36?

  • Rookie A (per 36): 15.8 ppg (53.8 TS%), 12.9 rpg, 1.5 apg : 2.1 tov, 0.9 blk, 0.6 stl
  • Rookie B (per 36): 17.5 ppg (53.9 TS%), 3.6 rpg, 3.0 apg :

(Thanks as always to Basketball Reference for the stats.)

Before the season began the Grizzlies banked on Rookie B O.J. Mayo and the Timberwolves went with Rookie A Kevin Love. Who's the winner of this trade so far? Well, that's a tough one. Who will be the winner of this trade 5-10 years from now? That's another tough one.
(Like how I just completely avoided my own questions?)

Regardless of how much you Love your Mayo, I'd go joyriding in a white Bronco with this O.J. any day. This guy just looks like he has the makings to become a very savvy and solid starting backcourt fixture for years to come at this level. I don't expect any buyer remorse from the Grizz about this trade.

Rewinding 2k8-2k9 Season

24 wins - 58 losses

Good thing the Grizzlies stole Gasol from the Lake-show! It's already paying dividends.

One thing's for sure. The Grizzlies OWN the Warriors.

Projecting 2k9-2k10 Season

41 wins - 41 losses

You can do worse than a lineup of:

PG: Allen Iverson/ Mike Conley/ Marcus Williams

SG: O.J. Mayo/ Marko Jaric

SF: Rudy Gay/ DeMarre Carroll

PF: Zach Randolph/ Darrell Arthur/ Steven Hunter

C: Marc Gasol/ Hasheem Thabeet/ Hamed Haddadi

Not much worse defensively mind you, but offensively that ain't half bad.


29 other teams are going to feel dumb this season for not answering the call.


Allen Iverson: Maybe not THE Answer, but Definitely AN Answer

The biggest offseason news for the Grizzlies and during the annual super slow NBA September was Allen Iverson signing with the Memphis Grizzlies for a bargain basement 1 year rental fee of $3.5 million.

See story stream: Not Ready for the Rocking Chair: Memphis Introduces Iverson

The hoops world can be very funny sometimes. Somewhere along the way Chauncey Billups went from being a very solid and underappreciated point guard to the most overrated player in the entire NBA and Allen Iverson went from being a true warrior and one of the league's greatest players to spectaculary underrated. (See the discussion in Polling GSoM: Based on their stats Guard A or Guard B?)

Make no mistake. Age 34 Allen Iverson is not an age 34 Michael Jordan (last Chicago Bulls season + NBA Champion). Iverson is not going to lead a team to a title as the #1 guy. AI has some flaws in his game at this age, notably his defensive decline and intensity. He simply is not the ballhawk he used to be early in his career, routinely netting over 2.4 steals a game and being a regular menace of D. I think everyone knows that by know. But that doesn't mean he still isn't a very good NBA player. For the way NBA teams were avoiding him this offseason you would think he had the hoops skills of Mark Madsen.

Iverson is undoubtedly coming off the worst season of his NBA career (both in terms of hoops performance and team politics), but let's not forget that he is only one season removed from averaging 26 ppg (45.8% FG, 34.5% 3pt, 80.9% FT), 7.2 apg : 3.0 turnovers, 3.0 rpg, and 2.0 steals. If Warriors "building block" Monta Ellis dropped anything close to 26 ppg and 7 apg (with a 2:1 assist: turnover ratio compared to his lowly 1.37 ratio last season) we'd all be pleasantly stunned. Too bad it's not going to happen for Ellis and the Warriors.

Bold Prediction: A rejuvenated Allen Iverson fighting for his hoops legacy is going to put up better numbers than Ellis this season.

The Grizzlies bought low and I like what they did. In a league where the Boston Celtics added Stephon Marburry for a playoff run, it makes very little sense why none of the contending teams this year wouldn't even so much as take a chance on AI at such a low financial cost.

The Answer Vault:

  • Allen Iverson Age 20 vs. Stephen Curry Age 20
  • 2009 NBA Free Agency: Warriors Expected to Use Midlevel Exception- Ramon Sessions, Jarrett Jack, Jason Kidd, and Allen Iverson
  • The Allen Iverson Trade: Throwing Up W's and L's
  • Rumor: Warriors Not Interested in Allen Iverson Anymore
  • Rumor: Warriors Could Be in on Multiteam Allen Iverson Trade
  • Why the Warriors Should Trade for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Baron Davis + Andris Biedrins for Allen Iverson Package Reports Were Bogus
  • Rumor: Warriors Could Have Allen Iverson for Jason Richardson
  • Rumor: Tony Mejia Thinks AI to the Warriors by Friday
  • Rumor: Warriors Offered Baron Davis, but Ready to Drop Out of Allen Iverson Trade Talks
  • Rumor: Tom Tolbert Says Warriors Out of Allen Iverson Trade Talks
  • Rumor: Sixers Targetting Troy Murphy and Jason Richardson
  • Rumor: Troy Murphy Not in Trade Talks
  • Rumor: Allen Iverson to the Warriors, Ben Gordon to 76ers, and Troy Murphy to Bulls
  • Rumor: Baron Davis, Andris Biedrins, and 3rd Unidentified Player for Allen Iverson and Steven Hunter
  • Rumor: Andris Biedrins, Monta Ellis, and Baron Davis for Allen Iverson and Steven Hunter
  • Rumor: Warriors Upped Offer for Iverson to Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Ike Diogu, and a 1st Rounder
  • Rumor: Ric Bucher Says Warriors Out of Running for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Warriors Dangling JRich and Adonal Foyle for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Stephen A. Smith Thinks the Warriors are the Frontrunners for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Warriors Looking to Move Dead-Weight Contracts for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Allen Iverson to the Warriors for JRich, Monta Ellis, or Baron Davis
  • Rumor: Warriors the Front-Runner in AI Sweepstakes
  • Rumor: Celtics, Warriors, and Kings Most Likely to Acquire Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, or Jason Richardson + Monta Ellis for Allen Iverson
  • GSoM Talks to Preetom Bhattacharya about Allen Iverson Rumors
  • Rumor: Warriors, Celtics, and Pacers in the Mix for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: 76ers Contacted Warriors, Sonics, and Nuggets about an Allen Iverson Deal
  • Rumor: Allen Iverson Wants Out of Philly + Warriors Need The Answer
  • Rumor: 7-1 Odds on Allen Iverson for T-Double, Ike, MP2, and Zarko
  • Rumor: Sixers want Troy Murphy or Jason Richardson for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Iverson Will Play for Warriors
  • Rumor: 8 Team, 9 Player Super Trade brings Allen Iverson to the Warriors
  • Rumor: Warriors Won't Pursue Iverson
  • Rumor: Warriors' Youth + Bad Contract for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Sixers Listening to Troy Murphy Package for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: 76ers Want a Troy Murphy Package for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Warriors in the Mix for Allen Iverson
  • Rumor: Warriors Really After Iverson
  • Rumor: Allen Iverson to the Warriors

  • AN Answer for the Grizzlies

    Pre-Iverson it would be all but a foregone conclusion that the 2009-2010 Memphis Grizzles (barring some unforeseen leap to superstardom by sophomore Mayo) would be sitting out the big spring dance in the West again. They would simply be fighting for the meaningless 10th spot in the West with the likes of the Timberwolves, Warriors, and Thunder. Sure the Grizzlies would be young and potentially exciting in the eyes of hoops junkies, but again it would be meaningless.

    Iverson makes the 2009-2010 Memphis Grizzlies season non-meaningless (I think the word I'm looking for is meaningful, but that feels a little too strong for the Grizz so please excuse me). On paper the Grizzlies now look like they have what it takes to fight with the New Orleans Hornets, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and LA Clippers for the lower playoff seeds in the West. For a franchise that has won 22, 22, and 24 games the past 3 seasons that's a big upgrade. Are the Grizzlies Iverson's last stop in the NBA or will they just be a bridge to a glorious finish with a championship contender in 2010 and beyond? All eyes will be Iverson and the Grizzlies.

    All eyes on the Grizzlies? I don't think that has ever happened. You have to give the Grizzlies front office a ton of credit for ending their streak of meaningless-ness.

    Golden Predictions

    • You heard it (predicted) here first. The Grizzlies will trade Rudy Gay this season. He's uber-talented and has all the physical tools, but I'm not sold he will ever make that commitment to making that big step or turn on the defensive intensity to ever reach his potential. It's kind of sad really.
    • Allen Iverson puts up 20 points and drops 6 dimes per game. All through February, March, and April contending teams are kicking themselves for not picking him up at a bargain basement price. Talking heads around the league start calling him a big impact free agent in the 2010 free agent class.
    • O.J. Mayo raises his dime total to 5 apg.
    • Michael Conley becomes... Mike Bibby Lite.
    • Rookie Hasheem Thabeet barely plays, but ends up having a solid NBA career when it's all said and done.
    • Warriors outcast Marcus Williams barely plays, but at least he doesn't steal R Dizzle's laptop.
    • Zach Randolph puts up another empty 20-10, but blocks less shots than Charlotte point guard Raymond Felton. (Seriously look up last year's totals- what an oddity.)
    • Marko Jaric stays a very happily married man.
    • Hamed Haddadi is a Warrior Killer on Wednesday November 4, 2009, Tuesday December 22, 2009, and Saturday March 20, 2010, but not on Wednesday March 24, 2010. Fourth time's the charm for the Warriors defense!
    • Marc Gasol raises his stats from 11.9 ppg and 7.4 rpg to 14 ppg and 8 rpg. The "Kwame Brown trade"? I laugh. It was clearly a Gasol for Gasol trade with the Grizzlies just wanting to get younger. Clearly.
    • Sophomore power forward Darrell Arthur makes a lot of teams wish they didn't pass on him in the 2008 NBA Draft.

    For more on the Memphis Grizzlies (and hopefully a little bit about the Vancouver Grizzlies) let me direct you to our brother site Straight Outta Vancouver...


    I wonder what they'd do with their blog name if Vancouver somehow got another NBA team some day.

    2009-2010 Around the Association

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