The Memphis Grizzlies (referred to locally as the Grizz) are an American professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division. The Grizzlies play their home games at FedExForum. The team is owned by Robert Pera. The Grizzlies are currently the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues based in the city of Memphis, and the only professional basketball team in the state of Tennessee.
The team was originally established as the Vancouver Grizzlies in the city of Vancouver, Canada, an expansion team that joined the NBA for the 1995–96 season. After the 2000–01 season concluded, the Grizzlies left Vancouver and moved to Memphis.
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. Original proposals were for the team to be called the Vancouver Mounties, but objections from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police forced the team to find a new name. The nickname, "Grizzlies" was eventually selected, being a type of bear indigenous to British Columbia. The Grizzlies played their home games at General Motors (GM) Place for the entirety of their six seasons in Vancouver.
The Vancouver Grizzlies applied to the NBA to relocate to Memphis, Tennessee on March 26, 2001, which was granted on July 3 leaving the Toronto Raptors as the only Canadian basketball team in the NBA. The team relocated following the 2000–01 season and were renamed the Memphis Grizzlies. After moving to Memphis, the team explored the possibility of changing “Grizzlies” to another name that better reflected the Memphis area. However, the community strongly supported the existing name. This is, primarily, because of the city’s proud history with a previous team, also named Memphis Grizzlies. The original Memphis Grizzlies franchise played in the semi-professional World Football League from 1974 to 1975. Memphis became the easternmost city in the Western Conference. In their first three seasons in Memphis, the Grizzlies played their home games at the Pyramid Arena.