Sport Rulebook

The Memphis Grizzlies’ Greatest Players: From Vancouver to Ja Morant

The Memphis Grizzlies are a team that has undergone several transformations throughout their franchise history. From their beginnings in Vancouver as the Grizzlies to their current home in Memphis, the team has seen numerous players come and go.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the Grizzlies franchise history with a focus on their origins in Vancouver and some of the best players in their history, including current star Ja Morant.

Team Origins and Early Years – Vancouver Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies were once the Vancouver Grizzlies, a team that joined the NBA in 1995 alongside the Toronto Raptors as part of the league’s expansion. While the Grizzlies struggled initially, they did have some success early on with players like Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who was the team’s leading scorer for five seasons, and Bryant Reeves, who was the team’s first-ever draft pick.

Despite the promising start, the Grizzlies struggled on the court and in the stands, where they failed to draw large crowds. The team’s struggles ultimately led to their relocation to Memphis in 2001.

However, the team’s time in Vancouver did see the emergence of a few players who would become staples of the franchise in Memphis, including Mike Bibby and Tony Massenburg.

Best Players in Franchise History

Marc Gasol is undoubtedly one of the best players in the Memphis Grizzlies’ franchise history. The Spanish center spent over a decade with the Grizzlies and was a key part of some of their most successful teams.

Gasol was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, was selected to the All-Star team three times, and was named to the All-NBA team twice. Another player who played a significant role in the Grizzlies’ success during the 2010s was Mike Conley.

Conley, who is now with the Utah Jazz, spent 12 seasons with the Grizzlies and was a steady presence at the point guard position. During his time in Memphis, Conley became the team’s all-time leader in points and assists, passing Marc Gasol in both categories.

Other players who played key roles in the Grizzlies’ success include Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol (Marc’s older brother), and Ja Morant. Randolph played six seasons in Memphis and helped lead the team to their first-ever playoff series win in 2011.

Pau Gasol was part of the Grizzlies’ early years in Memphis and was an All-Star in 2006. Morant, who was the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has been a revelation for the Grizzlies and was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2020.

In addition to these players, there are a few others who deserve honorable mentions, including Tony Allen, who was known for his defense and was a key part of the “Grit and Grind” era Grizzlies teams, Rudy Gay, who was a high-scoring forward for the team in the early 2010s, Jaren Jackson Jr., who is viewed as a key part of the team’s future, and Mike Miller, who was a valuable role player during the team’s most successful seasons.

Marc Gasol –

Career Achievements

As mentioned earlier, Marc Gasol is one of the best players in the Memphis Grizzlies’ franchise history. The Spanish center spent over a decade with the team before being traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2019.

During his time in Memphis, Gasol won numerous awards and accolades, including the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013. In addition to his defensive prowess, Gasol was also a skilled offensive player.

He averaged 14.6 points per game during his time in Memphis and was known for his passing ability. Gasol ranks in the top five in franchise history in numerous categories, including assists, blocks, rebounds, and games played.

Grizzlies’ All-Time Leaderboards

As mentioned earlier, Mike Conley is the Grizzlies’ all-time leader in both points and assists. Conley finished his Memphis career with 11,733 points and 4,509 assists.

In addition to Conley, the team’s all-time leaderboards feature several other familiar names. Marc Gasol ranks second in franchise history in points scored with 11,684.

Gasol also ranks in the top five in rebounds, assists, and blocks. Z-Bo ranks third in franchise history in points with 9,261.

Other players who rank in the top five in various categories include Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Mike Miller, and Ja Morant.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Memphis Grizzlies have had a storied franchise history, with a focus on their time as the Vancouver Grizzlies and some of the team’s best players in history. In particular, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are two players who have left a lasting impact on the franchise.

Ja Morant also appears poised to make a significant impact for the team in the coming years. As the Grizzlies continue to build for the future, it will be interesting to see which players follow in the footsteps of Gasol, Conley, and others who have left their mark on the franchise.

3) Mike Conley

Mike Conley spent 12 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies where he cemented himself as one of the most beloved players in franchise history. Despite never being an All-Star, Conley was a steady force for the Grizzlies and played a key role in many of their most successful seasons.

In this section, we will take a closer look at Mike Conley’s career highlights and his place on the Grizzlies’ all-time leaderboards.

Career Highlights

While Mike Conley may not have been an All-Star during his time in Memphis, he was still recognized as one of the top defenders in the league. Conley was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team in 2013 and was a member of the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team in 2014.

One of Conley’s most impressive accomplishments during his time in Memphis was his durability. Conley played in 788 games for the Grizzlies, which is the most in franchise history.

Conley also holds the record for most career playoff games played in franchise history with 70. Conley was a key part of many of the Grizzlies’ most successful seasons.

He helped lead the team to seven playoff appearances, including an appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 2013. During that run, Conley averaged 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game while shooting 44.1% from the field and 42.9% from three-point range.

Grizzlies’ All-Time Leaderboards

As mentioned earlier, Mike Conley is the Grizzlies’ all-time leader in both points and assists. Conley finished his Memphis career with 11,733 points and 4,509 assists.

In addition to these categories, Conley also ranks highly in several other statistical categories. Conley ranks second in franchise history in steals with 1,161, trailing only Tony Allen.

Conley also ranks in the top ten in free throws made and games played. While Conley’s on-court contributions will be forever cherished by Grizzlies fans, his off-court contributions were just as important.

Conley was beloved by fans and teammates alike for his leadership, professionalism, and community involvement. In recognition of his contributions, Conley was awarded the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2019.

4) Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph, also known as Z-Bo, is another player who left a significant impact on the Memphis Grizzlies during his time there. Randolph played six seasons in Memphis and was a key part of some of the team’s most successful seasons.

In this section, we will take a closer look at Randolph’s career highlights and his place on the Grizzlies’ all-time leaderboards.

Career Highlights

Zach Randolph was a two-time All-Star during his time in Memphis and was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 2011. Randolph was viewed as one of the premier low-post scorers in the league during his prime and was a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

While his offensive prowess was impressive, Randolph was also a skilled rebounder. He finished his Memphis career with 5,612 rebounds, which is the second-highest total in franchise history.

Randolph was also a key part of some of the Grizzlies’ most successful playoff runs. During the team’s run to the Western Conference Finals in 2013, Randolph averaged 19.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

On December 18, 2021, Randolph’s number 50 was officially retired by the Memphis Grizzlies. Randolph became the first player in franchise history to have their number retired.

Grizzlies’ All-Time Leaderboards

As mentioned earlier, Randolph ranks second in franchise history in rebounds with 5,612. He also ranks third in franchise history in points with 9,261.

Randolph is also in the top ten in several other statistical categories, including assists, steals, and blocks. Randolph’s success in Memphis was a testament to his hard work and determination.

Early in his career, Randolph was viewed as a talented but inconsistent player. However, he was able to turn his career around and become a beloved figure in Memphis.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph are two players who left a lasting impact on the Memphis Grizzlies during their time there. Conley’s leadership and defensive prowess helped anchor some of the team’s most successful seasons, while Randolph’s scoring and rebounding made him a fan favorite.

Both players had their numbers retired by the team and will be remembered fondly by Grizzlies fans for years to come.

5) Ja Morant

Ja Morant burst onto the scene during the 2019-2020 NBA season and quickly established himself as one of the league’s most exciting young players. Morant was the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and wasted no time making an impact for the Grizzlies.

In this section, we will take a closer look at Ja Morant’s career achievements and his place on the Grizzlies’ all-time leaderboards.

Career Achievements

Ja Morant had a remarkable rookie season in 2019-2020 and was named the NBA Rookie of the Year. Morant averaged 17.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game during his rookie season and was a key part of the Grizzlies’ playoff push.

His impressive play earned him a spot on the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. Morant followed up his rookie season with another strong campaign in 2020-2021.

He was named to the NBA All-Star team for the first time in his career and was named to the All-NBA Second Team. Morant established himself as one of the league’s top young players and helped lead the Grizzlies to their first playoff appearance since 2017.

Grizzlies’ All-Time Leaderboards

Despite only having played two seasons in the NBA, Ja Morant has already made his mark on the Grizzlies’ all-time leaderboards. Morant ranks in the top ten in several statistical categories, including points, assists, free throws made, and three-pointers.

Morant already ranks sixth in franchise history in assists with 854, despite only playing two seasons. He also ranks ninth in franchise history in points with 2,167.

Morant’s ability to get to the free-throw line has also been impressive, as he ranks sixth in franchise history in free throws made with 433. As Morant continues to develop and grow as a player, it is likely that he will continue to climb up the Grizzlies’ all-time leaderboards in a variety of statistical categories.

6) Tony Allen

Tony Allen was a fan favorite during his time with the Memphis Grizzlies. Known for his ferocious defense and infectious energy, Allen was a key part of some of the team’s most successful seasons.

In this section, we will take a closer look at Tony Allen’s career highlights and his place on the Grizzlies’ all-time leaderboards.

Career Highlights

Tony Allen was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team three times during his time in Memphis and was a member of the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team twice. Allen was viewed as one of the top perimeter defenders in the league during his prime and was a key part of some of the Grizzlies’ most successful seasons.

Allen was also a crucial player during the team’s playoff runs. He helped lead the team to seven playoff appearances during his time in Memphis, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2013.

Allen’s ability to lock down opposing perimeter players was a key part of the team’s success during those playoff runs. On January 28, 2022, Tony Allen’s number 9 was officially retired by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Allen became the eighth player in franchise history to have their number retired. Grizzlies’ All-Time Leaderboards

Tony Allen ranks first in franchise history in steals with 1,119.

Allen’s defensive prowess was a key part of his game, and his ability to disrupt passing lanes and get into passing lanes was remarkable. Allen also ranks second in franchise history in blocks with 273.

This is impressive considering Allen’s size (6’4″), which made it even more impressive when he would swat shots from much larger players. In addition to his defensive contributions, Allen was also effective on the offensive end of the floor.

He ranks second in franchise history in offensive rebounds with 767 and ranks seventh in franchise history in two-point field goals made with 2,238.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Ja Morant and Tony Allen were both key contributors for the Memphis Grizzlies during their respective careers. Morant’s exciting play and impressive statistics have already earned him a place among the franchise’s all-time greats, while Tony Allen’s tenacious defense and leadership helped establish the Grizzlies as one of the top defensive teams in the league during his prime.

Both players have left a lasting impact on the franchise, and their contributions will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.

7) Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Shareef Abdur-Rahim was one of the early stars for the Memphis Grizzlies. Abdur-Rahim spent five seasons with the team and was a consistent scorer and rebounder during his time there.

In this section, we will take a closer look at Abdur-Rahim’s career highlights and his place on the Grizzlies’ all-time leaderboards.

Career Highlights

Shareef Abdur-Rahim was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team in 1997 after averaging 18.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game during his rookie season with the Vancouver Grizzlies. Abdur-Rahim became a key part of the Grizzlies’ offense during their early years in Memphis, averaging 20 points per game during the 2000-2001 season.

While Abdur-Rahim’s scoring was impressive, he was also a solid all-around player. He finished his Memphis career with 3,684 rebounds, which is the fourth-highest total in franchise history.

He also ranks in the top ten in franchise history in points, blocks, and steals. Abdur-Rahim was a workhorse during his time in Memphis, playing in every game during the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons.

He also played in 181 consecutive games for the Grizzlies, which is the second-longest streak in franchise history. Grizzlies’ All-Time Leaderboards

Shareef Abdur-Rahim ranks third in franchise history in points scored with 7,801.

He also ranks fourth in franchise history in rebounds with 3,684, seventh in blocks with 350, and ninth in steals with 366. Abdur-Rahim was a consistent contributor during his time in Memphis and remains one of the franchise’s all-time greats.

8) Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay spent seven seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies and was a key part of the team’s offense during that time. Gay was viewed as one of

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