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David Stern still regrets not keeping Grizzlies at Vancouver

NBA

The Vancouver Grizzlies were one of two teams that were part of an NBA expansion. This happened ahead of the 1995-96 campaign.

Ex-NBA commissioner David Stern talked before Monday’s Hockey Hall of Fame. The Province has obtained the quotes.

“It doesn’t gnaw (at me),” Stern said. “But when I think of it, I regret that it was never really (given) the attention that it deserved, because it’s a beautiful and extraordinary city.”

The Grizzlies franchise in Vancouver had a number of things that went wrong during their six years in that city. In their first official season in the NBA, they went 15-67 and at the time, had the longest league losing streak. It was a 19-game losing streak.

The next season in the league, the Grizzlies would go onto win only 14 games. In their third season, with the total games reduced to 50 league wide, the Grizzlies only earned eights wins.

Stern said he was thrilled to have a team in Vancouver, before problems started to arise.

“It was just awful to me,” he continued. “I still remember granting the expansion franchise (and) I was so thrilled that we had a franchise in Vancouver.

“It was never managed to great success.”

Stern believes a franchise could still return to Vancouver.

“I would never say never about anything,” he said. “I’m an observer, so I’m watching from afar as they build a (US)$700-million building in Seattle.

“Vancouver still has a great building that it had when we were there.”

With talk of possible expansion within the NBA, it is quite possible we could see a team back in Seattle, maybe even Vancouver.

The league is in its best shape has it has ever been, the right time to expand is right now.