Day two of the Toronto Raptors training camp at the University of Victoria is in the books.
Following practice, Raptors All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan spoke with the media and discussed his memories of the Vancouver Grizzlies franchise and how he is surprised that Vancouver isn’t being mentioned as potential landing spot for another NBA franchise.
DeRozan said what he remembered most about Vancouver’s NBA team growing up were their bright turquoise jerseys.
The Grizzlies entered the NBA at the same time as the Toronto Raptors for the start of the 1995-96 season. However, the Grizzlies only lasted six seasons in Vancouver before being sold and eventually relocated to Memphis.
If you’ve ever wondered why the Memphis team is called the Grizzlies even though there are no Grizzly bears in the state of Tennessee; this is why.
DeRozan said the one former Grizzlies player that sticks out in his memory was Mike Bibby.
Bibby was selected by Vancouver with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft out of Arizona and went on to play 14 years in the NBA. DeRozan would’ve been nine or 10 years-old during Bibby’s first season in Vancouver.
DeRozan spoke about the amazing support the Raptors receive any time they play out in BC and said it’s surprising that Vancouver isn’t mentioned as a potential expansion city for the NBA.
It definitely is (surprising) because it’s an amazing basketball atmosphere the times we’ve played pre-season games (there). It felt like the atmosphere was crazy.
DeRozan continued to speak about the support the Raptors get across Canada.
Just the fans, the love. The Raptors fans that we have all the way out west; it’s definitely amazing. So it’s definitely interesting that you don’t hear much talk about it (expansion in Vancouver).
Written By: Chris Mckee