- NBA Championships: 0
- Last NBA Championship: N/A
- Claim to Fame: The Grizzlies were one of two Canadian expansion franchises when they entered the NBA with the Raptors in 1995.
- Claim to Shame: The Grizzlies won just eight games during 1999’s strike-shortened season.
13 NBA teams have yet to win a championship and, unfortunately for Grizzlies fans, Memphis is one of them.
This hard luck franchise began its existence in Vancouver in 1995, but struggled badly out of the gates, averaging just 16.8 wins over its first six seasons. The team’s poor performance led to growing disinterest among the city’s fanbase and the franchise fled British Columbia in 2001 and relocated to Memphis.
The move did wonders for the team, and the Grizzlies posted their first 50-win season just three years later. They also enjoyed a string of playoff appearances thanks to the emergence of Pau Gasol, who was named Rookie of the Year in 2002 and led the Grizzlies in scoring every season from 2002 until he was traded in 2008.
Gasol’s departure ushered in a dark period for the Grizzlies, but the team found an unlikely savior in his younger brother, Marc, who was acquired in the trade that sent Pau to the Lakers. Marc Gasol has averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in his 10 seasons in Bluff City and was a key component of the “Grit and Grind” teams that reached the playoffs seven straight times from 2011-17.
Memphis’ playoff run came to a crashing halt last season due to a string of injuries to key personnel. Hard-nosed point guard Mike Conley missed 70 games, sweet-shooting forward Chandler Parsons missed 46 games, and Gasol sat out nine contests. Add it all up and it isn’t hard to see how the Grizzlies won just 20 games and finished second to last in the ultra competitive Western Conference.
2018-19 should be a different story as all three players are healthy again (or healthy-ish in the case of Parsons). Memphis also solidified its lineup by luring crafty forward Kyle Anderson away from the Spurs and nabbing Michigan State standout Jaren Jackson Jr with the fourth pick in the Draft. The Grizzlies now have the depth to survive an injury or two and claw their way back into the postseason.