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Leaving the Grizzlies den for greener pastures

Ranking the top five post Vancouver Grizzlies

It may have been just a mere six seasons, but the Vancouver Grizzlies left an indelible mark on the city of Vancouver.

Whether it was the horrible jerseys, the questionable moves by “general manager” Stu Jackson or the fact that the team had more L’s than No.3 Road in Richmond.

We’re approaching 12 years since the Grizzlies moved to the bustling metropolis of Memphis and the real question is: Who has been the most successful Grizzlies team member since the team skipped town?

Some guys are doing their best to avoid child payments (Benoit Benjamin and Blue Edwards), others are probably drinking 17 Heinekens at a bar not in Vancouver (Doug West). Some are just happy to be in the U.S. where they can buy their favourite brand of chips (George Lynch) and gelling their hair, a la Eddie Munster, behind other benches and continuing to lose (Brian Winters).

But there are also some success stories. Here’s my list of the top five Grizzlies career paths since leaving Vancouver:

Greg Anthony went on to have a successful NBA career, as well as a solid broadcasting career.

Greg Anthony went on to have a successful NBA career, as well as a solid broadcasting career.

5) Greg Anthony

Anthony was one of the few bright spots on the Grizzlies in the team’s first two seasons. G-Money was a leader on and off the court and brought maturity and class for the pair of seasons he manned the point.

After leaving Vancouver, Anthony stayed in the Pacific Northwest with stops in Seattle and Portland, where he should have won a title with them in 2000 (Thanks NBA refs). He finished up his career with stints in Chicago and Milwaukee.

From there, Anthony became a solid broadcaster for ESPN, CBS and now the YES network.

4) Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Easily the best on-court producer while the team was in Vancouver, SAR was dealt to Atlanta in 2001 and was an all-star in 2002. While in Atlanta, he also became the fifth-youngest player to score 10,000 points. He moved on to stints in Portland and Sacramento and finally played a playoff game in 2006.

Knee injuries caused him to retire early in 2008, but he became the assistant general manager for the Kings in 2010 and then became the team’s director of player personnel.

He was recently named the new GM of the D-League’s Reno Bighorns – the Kings affiliate.

3) Antonio Daniels

He might have been a horrible pick for the Grizzlies and underachieved, but Daniels actually had a pretty decent career. He’s the only Vancouver Grizzly to ever win a ring (San Antonio in 1999) and carved out a role as a solid back-up point guard.

Of course, that’s not usually the role of a guy drafted fourth overall, but hey, it was Stu Jackson doing the picking.

Daniels also played in Portland, Seattle, Washington, New Orleans and Philly, and last reports were that he was buried somewhere in the D-League.

2) Mike Bibby

Bibby was a nice pick by Vancouver and was one of the team’s very few bright spots in its dying days. He was dealt to Sacramento after the Grizz moved to Memphis and became a key part of those extremely entertaining Kings teams in the early 2000s – another team that fell victim to some horrible officiating (looking at you Tim Donaghy).

Bibby was traded to Atlanta in 2008 and had a few good years there before spending time with Washington, Miami (where he played on the Heat team that lost to the Mavs in the finals) and lastly the New York Knicks.

He’s all but retired now but has been most recently known for receiving a large ovation after getting kicked out of his son’s high school basketball game.

1) Bryant Reeves

Sure, he did nothing on the court after the Grizz left Vancouver, but he had tens of millions of dollars and has seemingly done nothing but raise cattle and get fat (ter).

He had to retire after chronic back pain in 2001 and has been living life on the farm in Gans, OK ever since.

Big Country, indeed.

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About Ben Lypka

Straight outta South Central Delta, BC, Ben's been a sports nut for as long as he can remember. With experience covering the Olympic Games and reporting on sporting events in BC and Alberta, he hopes to bring a unique perspective to the NWSB! You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Ben today!
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