We kick off the 30 Teams | 30 Weeks countdown to the most collectible franchise in NBA history with the Memphis Grizzlies. Founded in 1995 as the Vancouver Grizzlies, the team lasted six seasons in Canada before moving to Tennessee.
They decided to keep the original name, which is why there’s a team called the “Grizzlies” in a state known for its black bears. The Grizz never made the playoffs while in Vancouver, but their third season in Memphis (2003-04) resulted in their first playoff appearance. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies were swept in the first round of the playoffs for three-straight years. Then they didn’t make the postseason again until 2010-11.
That 2011 playoff run holds a special place in Memphis fans’ hearts. Not only did the Grizzlies get their first-ever playoff win, they became only the second eighth seed to beat the top seed in a seven-game series. The team, led by stars Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Shane Battier defeated the San Antonio Spurs in six games. It should come as no surprise that our legendary card lineup is made up mostly of players on the 2011 team, many of whom would lead the Grizzlies to six-straight playoff appearances. Gasol, Randolph and Conley were part of the 2012-13 team that went all the way to the Western Conference Finals.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these cards, you can find them on the Beckett Marketplace. Just click on the image of the cards in the slideshow to be taken to the marketplace.