The Grizzlies own the worst 5-year stretch in NBA history

Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport /
Memphis Grizzlies
Ashraf Amaya, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by DAN LEVINE / AFP via Getty Images) /

The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the youngest franchises in NBA history. As a result of this, there isn’t much to speak of in their past. No NBA Championships, no MVP winners, no big controversies.

That said, it hasn’t been a horrible ride for Grizzlies fans. Memphis has seen a lot of success over the past decade of basketball, with Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol leading the team to some exciting playoff runs.

That said, Grizzlies fans who have been around from the very start are extremely resilient, as Memphis went through one of the worst stretches of basketball in league history. Actually, the Grizzlies technically went through the worst stretch of basketball in NBA history.

The Grizzlies’ winning percentage after the franchise was created is depressing to look at

Technically speaking, the Grizz went through this dark period outside of the city of Memphis, so many fans may not have been a part of the misery. That said, the then-Vancouver Grizzlies struggled badly when the franchise was first created.

The Grizz would never win more than 23 games during their time in Canada, losing an average of over 63 games per season. For those who aren’t huge fans, that’s really bad.

The team was led by Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who was around for five of the Grizzlies’ six seasons in Vancouver. He would average over 20 points per contest during his time with the Grizz, including a 20-point, 10-rebound season in 1999-2000, cementing himself as the first great Grizzly player. Still, fan interest wasn’t there.

In the team’s first five seasons in the league, the team had a winning percentage of .203 or 20.3%. This is the worst in NBA history for any 5-year span and it’s not really very close. The next closest team would be the Golden State warriors from 1998-2002, who would win over 23% of their games.

A lot of people don’t know this, but the Grizzlies franchise actually lost $100 million while they were located in Canada. Between lack of success on the court and lack of fan interest off the court, the franchise was doomed in Vancouver.

dark. Next. Lillard makes no sense on the Grizzlies, right?

Fortunately, Memphis is far from that in 2021, as the franchise is extremely healthy with a few star players right now. In the upcoming few seasons, Memphis will look to contend for a Western Conference Finals appearance, and eventually, an NBA title.