The 1998–99 NBA lockout was the third lockout of four in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). It lasted from July 1, 1998, to January 20, 1999, and forced the 1998–99 regular season to be shortened to 50 games per team and that season's All-Star Game to be canceled. NBA owners reopened the league's collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in March 1998, seeking changes to the league's salary cap system and a ceiling on individual player salaries. The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) opposed the owners' plans and wanted raises for players who earned the league's minimum salary. After the two sides failed to reach an agreement, the owners began the lockout.
The dispute received a tepid response from sports fans, and provoked criticism from media members. It continued into January 1999, threatening cancellation of the entire season. After division within the players union, however, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter reached an agreement with NBA commissioner David Stern on January 6 to end the work stoppage. Quickly ratified by the owners and players, the deal was signed later in January, ending the lockout after 204 days. The settlement provided for maximum salaries for players and a pay scale for first-year players. In the months after the lockout, television ratings and ticket sales declined during the 50-game season, and both remained below pre-lockout levels in subsequent seasons.
Before 1998, there had been two lockouts in the previous three years: a labor dispute that lasted more than two months in 1995 and a brief work stoppage in 1996 that ended within three hours. However, on both occasions, the players and owners reached a deal before the start of the season, and before 1998, the NBA was the only major sports league in the United States that had never lost a game because of a work stoppage. A six-year CBA had been in place since September 1995, but it included a clause allowing NBA owners to reopen the contract after three years if more than 51.8 percent of "basketball-related income" went to player salaries.
By the 1997–98 season, 57 percent of basketball-related income was used to pay players, while the previous deal called for a 48 percent split. According to the NBA, 15 of the 29 teams posted losses that season. The NBPA disputed this figure and claimed that only four teams had losses. The league's owners voted on whether to reopen the CBA on March 23, 1998, and the vote passed by a 27–2 margin. Negotiations between the NBPA and owners started on April 1, and nine further bargaining sessions took place in the next three months.
The primary issue was that of player salaries, which owners sought to curb. A salary cap had been a part of the CBA since 1983, but it included loopholes that allowed teams to exceed the payroll limit. Among them was the "Larry Bird exception", named after the former player who was an early beneficiary of the rule. The Bird exception enabled teams to spend an unlimited amount of money to re-sign their own players, causing a substantial increase in the value of upper-end contracts. Club owners wanted to remove the exemption and place limits on maximum player salaries. Owners also desired a modified pay scale for rookie players that would prevent them from gaining unrestricted free agency after three seasons, and wanted to ban the use of marijuana and performance-enhancing drugs. The players union, wanting to avoid a decline in salaries, opposed changes to the salary cap system, in particular those involving the Larry Bird exception. Other NBPA positions included opposition to a cap on individual player salaries and support for a raise of the minimum salary, which 22 percent of NBA players earned during 1997–98.
After negotiations between the sides broke off on June 22, the lockout started nine days later. Teams were barred from making player transactions and holding workouts and meetings for the duration of the work stoppage. The Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal's Grant M. Hayden described the NBA's action as an "offensive lockout", in which an employer attempts to force its workers into a settlement that does not favor them. An early byproduct of the lockout was the exclusion of NBA players from the U.S. national team that played at the 1998 FIBA World Championship. USA Basketball, the governing body for the sport in the U.S., elected to send a team consisting of lower-level professional players and amateurs. Negotiations resumed at an August 6 bargaining session, the first since the start of the lockout. NBA commissioner David Stern and several owners left the talks after the NBPA presented an offer that included increased revenue sharing between teams.
By September 25, 24 exhibition games were canceled and training camps were postponed indefinitely as a result of stalled talks. Further negotiating sessions took place in October and November, but no agreement was reached. The season's first two weeks were officially canceled on October 13, and 99 games scheduled for November were lost as a result. It was the first time in NBA history that games were canceled due to a labor dispute. On October 20, arbitrator John Feerick ruled that the owners did not have to pay players with guaranteed contracts during the lockout. Feerick's decision gave the owners leverage in bargaining talks. Another factor favoring the owners was that their teams received money from the NBA's television broadcasters, whose contracts with the league called for payments to be made if games were not played.
Further games were canceled as the lockout continued through November and December, including the 1999 All-Star Game, which had been scheduled to be played on February 14, 1999, at the First Union Center in Philadelphia. As a result of the All-Star Game's cancellation, the NBA later awarded the 2002 All-Star Game to Philadelphia. Discussions during the lockout were characterized by frequent hostility between the players and owners. One example of the heated nature of the talks came at an early December bargaining session, when Stern and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter became involved in what CBS News called "an extremely heated, expletive-laden screaming match". Both men temporarily walked away from the bargaining table, and indicated after the session that the entire season might be canceled. Although the 1998 portion of the schedule was not played because of the lockout, 16 NBA players participated in a December 19 exhibition game in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event's organizers intended to give NBPA members a share of the money raised, but the idea proved controversial, and charities ultimately received the proceeds.
On December 23, Stern announced that he would recommend canceling the season if there was no deal by January 7, 1999. At a December 27 meeting, a "final" deal was proposed by the owners. The sides met again on January 4, and the NBPA gave its last proposal to the owners, who turned it down. Stern discussed the possibility of having replacement players brought in to begin the following season. As Stern's deadline approached, the NBPA showed signs of division from within. Highly paid players were seen as the ones most affected by the disputed issues, rather than the union's membership as a whole. Agent David Falk, who was considered an influential voice for the players, represented NBPA president Patrick Ewing and nine players on the union's 19-person negotiating committee.
The NBPA scheduled a meeting in New York City on January 6, where players would vote on the proposal by the owners, which the committee had recommended opposing. Several players, including Shaquille O'Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon, wanted the vote to be conducted by secret ballot, while others indicated a desire to return to competition regardless of how the vote went. Kevin Johnson stated that most players "were just ready to [fight] Wednesday at our meeting if an agreement hadn't been reached." Faced with a splintering union, Hunter moved to resume talks with Stern. On January 6, the day before Stern's deadline, he and Hunter reached an agreement, which was ratified by the NBPA later that day and by the NBA Board of Governors on January 7.
Widely viewed as a victory for Stern and the owners, the agreement was signed by both parties on January 20, officially ending the lockout after 204 days. It capped players' salaries at between $9 million and $14 million, depending on how long they had played in the NBA. The league became the first major sports organization in the U.S. to limit the salaries of its players. A rookie pay scale was introduced, with salary increases tied to how early a player was selected in the NBA Draft. The Larry Bird exception was retained, though maximum annual pay raises were capped. New "average" and "median" salary cap exemptions, which the NBPA had proposed, allowed teams to sign one player per category even if they were over the spending limit. For teams that wished to exceed the salary cap, a luxury tax was instituted requiring offenders to pay on a dollar-for-dollar basis, provided total league salaries were above a specified level. The league's minimum salary was increased to $287,500, a $15,000 raise from before the lockout. The players were promised that their salaries would equal 55 percent of league revenues over the agreement's final three seasons. However, any higher percentage would lead to a salary decrease. The NBA's drug policy was expanded to cover performance-enhancing drugs and marijuana, with once-yearly testing.
The lockout prompted indifference among most American sports fans, who thought that greed was shown by both sides; the latter was a similar sentiment to what fans voiced during the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike. A CBS News–New York Times poll conducted in October 1998 showed that, while most fans' opinion of professional basketball was unaffected by the work stoppage, 29 percent reported that their views had become more negative. The same poll showed that fans backed the NBPA in the dispute by a 36–29 margin, while the general public supported the owners 24 percent to 22 percent. One-quarter of basketball fans who responded to the poll stated that they did not know enough about the lockout to give an opinion, along with 45 percent of the general public. Media members were frequently critical of the owners and players. Sportswriter Tony Kornheiser described the labor dispute as one "between tall millionaires and short millionaires." An article in Newsweek termed the lockout "an incomprehensible and unconscionable dispute between rival gangs of millionaires". Time's Bill Saporito believed that each side was damaged by the lockout, in terms of financial losses and negative publicity. Stern said that he had made concessions in the agreement, while Hunter said that the parties "both blinked."
From a broader labor perspective, Hayden commented that the lockout was "rather pedestrian" and "made no noteworthy contributions to legal doctrine." He considered the NBPA to be a union that had more power, and a greater ability to enter a labor dispute, than most other labor organizations, which he believed to hold weaker positions comparatively. In addition, Hayden noted that a contrast existed between the work activities of regular workers and NBA players, as perceived by typical employees, and that "the NBA lockout may have strengthened the view of many that unions are out of touch with their lives and thus have little to offer them."
The 1998–99 season, which began on February 5, 1999, was shortened to 50 games per team, as opposed to the normal 82. As a result of the 204-day lockout, 464 regular-season games were lost. In addition to the lockout, the NBA's popularity was affected by the second retirement of Michael Jordan, who had been largely responsible for an increase in fan interest during his career. The average attendance during the shortened season was 16,738 fans per game, down 2.2 percent from the 1997–98 average of 17,117 spectators per contest. Ticket sales fell nearly two percent further in the opening months of 1999–00, and remained under 17,000 per game for the following three seasons. The league also saw television ratings drop for three consecutive seasons after the lockout.
In the years following the lockout, a higher percentage of players signed contracts worth the maximum amount possible under the cap. Some young players, such as LeBron James, began signing shorter contracts that allowed for more flexibility in team choice and salary. The agreement expired in 2005, and both sides became concerned about the possibility of another work stoppage. A lockout was prevented, however, when a six-year CBA was reached in June 2005. After the expiration of that CBA, a lockout occurred in 2011; it was the fourth in league history and lasted for about five months before the sides came to an agreement. Each team's schedule in the 2011–12 NBA season was cut by 16 games.
The 2002 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game which was played on February 10, 2002 at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, home of the Philadelphia 76ers. This game was the 51st edition of the North American NBA All-Star Game and was played during the 2001–02 NBA season.
The venue was originally scheduled for the 1998-99 NBA season, but was cancelled due to the 1998-99 NBA lockout and moved to 2002.
The West defeated the East 135-120, with Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers winning the Most Valuable Player. Bryant scored 31 points, dished 5 assists, and grabbed 5 rebounds, despite being booed by the hometown crowd. Tracy McGrady led the way for the East, scoring 25 points off the bench. He also made one of the most memorable plays in All-Star Game history, the self pass off the backboard dunk.
This was also the last All-Star Game to feature players wearing their respective team jerseys, and thus far, the last to be seen on over-the-air television (all subsequent games have aired on the cable channel TNT).Cavaliers–Warriors rivalry
The Cavaliers–Warriors rivalry is a National Basketball Association (NBA) rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. While the two teams have played each other since the Cavaliers joined the league in 1970, their rivalry began to develop in the 2014–15 season, when they met in the first of four consecutive NBA Finals, from 2015 to 2018. Prior to the streak beginning, no pair of teams had faced each other in more than two consecutive Finals. Of these four series, the Warriors have won three championships (2015, 2017, and 2018), and the Cavaliers won in 2016.Chris Morris (basketball)
Christopher Vernard Morris (born January 20, 1966) is a retired American professional basketball player. In his 11-season (1988–1999) National Basketball Association career, the 6'8" small forward played for the New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, and Phoenix Suns. He is a graduate of Atlanta's Douglass High School where his jersey has been retired and played for the Auburn University Tigers. He scored 8,184 total points in his NBA career.David Falk
David B. Falk (born 1950) is an American sports agent who primarily works with basketball players in the National Basketball Association. Falk began his career representing professional tennis players for Donald Dell's ProServ and is best known for representing sports icon Michael Jordan for the entirety of Jordan's career. Besides Jordan, Falk has represented more than 100 other NBA players, and is generally considered to be the most influential player agent the NBA has seen. During the peak years of Falk's career in the 1990s, he was often considered the second-most powerful person in the NBA behind Commissioner David Stern, and in 2000 he had at least one client on all but two NBA teams. He was listed among the "100 Most Powerful People in Sports" for 12 straight years from 1990 to 2001 by The Sporting News, and was also named one of the Top 50 Marketers in the United States by Advertising Age in 1995.Falk negotiated the then-highest contracts in NBA history for Patrick Ewing and Danny Ferry. He also negotiated professional sports' first $100 million contract for Alonzo Mourning as part of an unprecedented free agency period, during which his company, FAME, changed the entire salary structure of the NBA, negotiating more than $400 million in contracts for its free agent clients in a six-day period.In January 2007, Falk re-launched FAME, and today serves as its founder and CEO. He represented 9 players in 2012; in the prime of his sports agent career in the 1990s he represented as many as 40 players at a time.Dickey Simpkins
LuBara Dixon "Dickey" Simpkins (born April 6, 1972) is an American former professional basketball player best known for his tenure with the Chicago Bulls in the late 1990s. He is currently a scout for the Charlotte Hornets.A 6' 9" forward/center, Simpkins starred at Friendly High School (Maryland) and Providence College before being selected by the Bulls with the 21st pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. Behind Luc Longley, Bill Wennington, and later Dennis Rodman in the Bulls' playing rotation, he saw limited action in his first few seasons as a Bull, scoring 513 points in 167 games. He earned two NBA Championship rings in 1996 and 1997, but was not on the team's active roster for either playoff run, and in fall 1997 the Bulls traded him to the Golden State Warriors for guard/forward Scott Burrell.
The Warriors subsequently waived Simpkins, and the Bulls claimed him. Simpkins posted a .634 field goal percentage in 21 games, and in the spring of 1998 he participated in the playoffs for the first time of his career, earning his third championship ring. After the 1998–99 NBA lockout, the Bulls parted ways with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Rodman and Luc Longley, which provided Simpkins with significantly more playing time. During the 1999 season he emerged as a part-time starter, averaging career highs of 9.1 points and 6.8 rebounds, and in the following season, he played a career-high 1,651 minutes.
After the Bulls signed Brad Miller in September 2000, the Bulls renounced their rights to Simpkins, who would spend a season in Greece before joining the Atlanta Hawks during the 2001–02 NBA season. He only played one game for the Hawks, though, and spent the rest of the season in Greece and the CBA. He later played in Russia, Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Spain, Philippines, Lebanon, and Germany.Simpkins has worked as a college basketball analyst for ESPN. He is the founder of the basketball development company Next Level Performance Inc. (NLP), and is a national motivational speaker. He is currently a color commentator at Fox Sports 1 (FS1) for the Big East games.FIBA Basketball World Cup
The FIBA Basketball World Cup, also known as the FIBA World Cup of Basketball or simply the FIBA World Cup, between 1950 and 2010 known as the FIBA World Championship, is an international basketball competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the sport's global governing body. It is considered the flagship event of FIBA.The tournament structure is similar, but not identical, to that of the FIFA World Cup; both of these international competitions were played in the same year from 1970 through 2014. A parallel event for women's teams, now known as the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, is also held quadrennially. From 1986 through 2014, the men's and women's championships were held in the same year, though in different countries. The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation. The winning team receives the Naismith Trophy, first awarded in 1967. The current champions are the United States, who defeated Serbia in the final of the 2014 tournament.
Following the 2014 FIBA championships for men and women, the men's World Cup was scheduled on a new four-year cycle to avoid conflict with the FIFA World Cup. The next men's World Cup will be held in 2019, in the year following the FIFA World Cup. The women's championship, which was renamed from "FIBA World Championship for Women" to "FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup", after its 2014 edition, will remain on the previous four-year cycle, with championships in the same year as the FIFA World Cup.
The 1994 FIBA World Championship, which was held in Canada, was the first FIBA World Cup tournament in which currently active American NBA players, that had also already played in an official NBA regular season game, were allowed to participate. All FIBA World Championship/World Cup tournaments from the 1994 edition onward, are thus considered as fully professional level tournaments.Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals
Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals was a professional basketball game that was played on June 14, 1998 between the visiting Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center, now known as Vivint Smart Home Arena, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Bulls won 87–86, winning their sixth NBA championship in eight years. Game 6 was the final game with the Bulls for Michael Jordan and coach Phil Jackson (both would retire from the National Basketball Association (NBA), then eventually return). This game earned, and still holds, the highest TV ratings of an NBA game of all time. Michael Jordan hit a jump shot with 5.2 seconds left in the game to give the Bulls an 87–86 lead. Chicago then held on to win after John Stockton missed a 3-point field goal.Lockout (sports)
A Lockout can be imposed by the Major League Baseball (MLB lockout), National Basketball Association (NBA lockout), National Football League (NFL lockout) or the National Hockey League (NHL lockout) if team owners and players fail to come to an agreement about payment conditions. Similar to a government shutdown, it can result in missed games, loss of paychecks, and angry fans. Some of the more famous lockouts include the 1972 Major League Baseball Strike, the NFL’s 1987 Strike Fail, the 1982 National Football League Strike, 1981’s Baseball Strike, The 1994 National Hockey League Lockout, The 1998-99 NBA Lockout, The 2004 NHL Lockout, and the 1994 baseball strike. https://stories.avvo.com/crime/the-8-biggest-lockouts-in-sports-history.htmlMichael Olowokandi
Michael Olowokandi (born 3 April 1975) is a Nigerian former professional basketball player. Born in Lagos and raised in London, he attended college on a basketball scholarship at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and was the number one pick in the 1998 NBA draft, where he was selected as a center by the Los Angeles Clippers. He played professionally until 2007.Mirsad Türkcan
Mirsad Türkcan (see names) (born June 7, 1976) is a Turkish former professional basketball player of Serbian origin. Standing at a height of 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m), he played at the power forward position. A three-time All-EuroLeague Team member, he is also the fourth best rebounder in the EuroLeague, since the year 2000, with 1,287 total rebounds.Born in Novi Pazar, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia as Mirsad Jahović, he moved to play basketball in Turkey. At the same time, he also obtained Turkish citizenship, and started playing international basketball with the senior Turkish national team. In 1999, he became the first Turkish basketball player to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).In the EuroLeague, Türkcan amassed total of 50 double doubles, and is one of only three players since the year 2000, to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game (27 points and 23 rebounds). He led the EuroLeague in rebounding five times. He was nominated for the EuroLeague 2001–10 All-Decade Team, but he did not make the final list. He became a EuroLeague Legend in 2017.NBA Rookie of the Month Award
The T-Mobile National Basketball Association Rookie of the Month Award is presented monthly by the league to honor the top rookie in both conferences (Eastern and Western conferences) in a particular month. Once won, the trophy is presented to the player before his next home game.NBA draft lottery
The NBA Draft Lottery is an annual event held by the National Basketball Association (NBA), in which the teams who had missed the playoffs the previous year participate in a lottery process to determine the draft order in the NBA draft. The NBA Draft lottery started in 1985. In the NBA draft, the teams obtain the rights to amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The lottery winner would get the first selection in the draft. The term "lottery pick" denotes a draft pick whose position is determined through the lottery, while the non-playoff teams involved in the process are often called "lottery teams."
Under the current rules, only the top four picks are decided by the lottery, and are chosen from the 14 teams that do not make the playoffs. The team with the worst record, or the team that holds the draft rights of the team with the worst record, has the best chance to obtain a higher draft pick. After the top four positions are selected (from the lottery slotting system), the remainder of the first-round draft order is in inverse order of the win-loss record for the remaining teams, or the teams who originally held the lottery rights if they were traded. The lottery does not determine the draft order in the subsequent rounds of the draft.
Beginning with the 2019 draft, the NBA changed the lottery odds (the bottom three teams will all have an equal 14% chance of winning the top pick) and increase the number of teams selected in the lottery from three to four.NBA lockout
The NBA lockout may refer to any of the four lockouts in the history of the National Basketball Association:
The 1995 NBA lockout, which lasted for three months before the 1995–96 season
The 1996 NBA lockout, which lasted for a couple of hours before the 1996–97 season
The 1998–99 NBA lockout, which lasted for more than six months and forced the 1998–99 season to be shortened to 50 regular season games per team
The 2011 NBA lockout, which lasted for over eight months and forced the 2011–12 season to be shortened to 66 regular season games per teamNaismith Cup
The Naismith Cup was an annual pre-season National Basketball Association (NBA) exhibition game. From the 1995 season through 2000, it was played between the two Canadian NBA rivals, the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies, at neutral venues across Canada. The cup was named after James Naismith, the Canadian inventor of basketball, and was originally created to raise money for Canada Basketball, similar to the Pearson Cup competition between Canada's Major League Baseball teams the Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos (which have since relocated to Washington). Following the Grizzlies relocation to Memphis the cup was laid dead, though the Raptors continued the tradition of hosting neutral site pre-season games in Canadian cities under the NBA Canada Series name. The Raptors won the series against Vancouver 4–1.
Prior to the 2003 season, the cup was revived as an international match between the Raptors and a European team, played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. In 2003 the opponent was the Panathinaikos A.O. of Athens, Greece, while in 2004 the Benetton Treviso of Treviso, Italy visited Toronto. The final competition in 2005 saw the Raptors' only international loss, against Maccabi Tel Aviv of Tel Aviv, Israel.Peja Stojaković
Predrag Stojaković (Serbian Cyrillic: Предраг Стојаковић, pronounced [ˌprêdraːɡ ˈstôjaːkoʋit͜ɕ]; born June 9, 1977), also known by his nickname Peja (sr. Peđa/Pedja/Пеђа, pronounced [ˈpêd͡ʑa]), is a Serbian professional basketball executive and former player. He is currently the director of player personnel and development for the Sacramento Kings.Standing at 6 ft 10 (2.08 m), Stojaković played mostly at the small forward position. He won the NBA Three-point shootout two times, and was the first European-born player to win one of the All-Star Weekend competitions. Stojaković made 1,760 three-point field goals in his career which ranked 10th all-time at the point of his retirement.
After starting in Crvena zvezda and while playing for PAOK, Stojaković was drafted fourteenth overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 1996 NBA draft. In the NBA, he had a breakthrough season in 2000–01 following two seasons on the bench, averaging 20.4 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting .400 from three-point range in his first season as a starter. He finished second in voting for the 2001 Most Improved Player Award. A three-time All-star and a member of the 2004 All-NBA Second Team, Stojaković enjoyed success with the Kings reaching the 2002 Western Conference Finals. He also played for the Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets and Toronto Raptors. Stojaković won an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks.
Stojaković led the Yugoslavian national team to gold medals in the 2001 FIBA EuroBasket and the 2002 FIBA World Championship. Often considered to be one of the greatest European basketball players ever, Peđa was named the Euroscar Basketball Player of the Year by the Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport and the Mister Europa Player of the Year twice by the Italian sports magazine Superbasket.
On December 19, 2011, he announced his retirement from basketball. On December 16, 2014, the Sacramento Kings retired his number.Three-Point Contest
The Three-Point Contest (officially named the Mtn Dew Three-Point Contest and previously named the Three-Point Shootout) is a National Basketball Association (NBA) contest held on the Saturday before the annual All-Star Game as part of All-Star Weekend.
The 2019 iteration of the contest involved ten participants. From its introduction in 1986 to 2002, and then in 2017 and 2018, eight participants were selected to participate in each season's shootout. Between 2003 and 2016, the contest was open to just six competitors. Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets is the most recent winner of the event which was held at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.Vancouver Grizzlies
The Vancouver Grizzlies were a Canadian professional basketball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was established in 1995, along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. Following the 2000–01 season, the team relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, United States, and are known as the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies played their home games at General Motors Place for the entirety of their six seasons in Vancouver.
Like most expansion teams, the Grizzlies struggled in their early years. The team finished last in the division in five of its seasons, and never won more than 30% of its games in any of the team's seasons in Vancouver. In total, the team won 101 games, lost 359, and never qualified for the NBA playoffs. The two expansion teams were denied early draft picks in the first season, but the Grizzlies secured Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1996. The team continued to lose games despite high draft picks. After they selected Steve Francis as second pick in 1999, he refused to play in Vancouver and was traded away. After the 1998–99 lockout, lower attendance and a weak Canadian dollar caused the owner Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment to start losing money on the franchise. After a failed attempt to sell the team to Bill Laurie, it was instead sold to Michael Heisley and subsequently moved to Memphis, Tennessee for the 2001–02 season.Vancouver Grizzlies relocation to Memphis
The Vancouver Grizzlies relocation to Memphis was a successful effort by the ownership group of the Vancouver Grizzlies to move the basketball team from the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia, to the United States city of Memphis, Tennessee. The team began play as the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2001–02 season. It was the first of three National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise moves between 2001 and 2008, and the third of four major league teams to relocate from Canada to the United States between 1995 and 2005.
The Grizzlies had been created as an expansion team along with the Toronto Raptors in 1995. For the six seasons in Vancouver, the Grizzlies performed poorly; they only once finished better than last in the Midwest Division and never reached the playoffs. The Grizzlies were owned by Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, who also owned the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). In 1999, Bill Laurie, owner of the NHL's St. Louis Blues, attempted to buy the Grizzlies, with the intent to move it to St. Louis. After interference by the NBA, the Grizzlies were sold to Michael Heisley. He immediately started the process to relocate the team, and seven U.S. cities were candidates for the team—Anaheim, California; Buffalo, New York; Memphis, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Las Vegas, Nevada; and San Diego, California—before settling on the move to Memphis at the end of the season.
The first four Grizzlies seasons had given average attendance in the middle third of the league. However, the last two seasons saw a reduction to among the league's lowest attendances; participating reasons were the team's poor performance and the 1998–99 NBA lockout. Contributing to the conditions for relocation were a weak Canadian dollar, unwillingness of some U.S. players to live in Canada, and lack of local ownership.Vin Baker
Vincent Lamont Baker (born November 23, 1971) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He appeared in four consecutive All-Star Games.
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