There was a time when the Grizzlies were the sorriest franchise in all of sports.
Garish green jerseys. Bryant "Big Country" Reeves. An ignomious Playoff losing streak (three straight years getting swept out of the first round). The Allen Iverson disaster.
Those days are long behind this franchise. Now, they might very well be the envy of the sports world after their first trip to the Western Conference Finals in franchise history and a very bright future for years to come.
ESPN has named the Memphis Grizzlies the top franchise in all of sports in its annual franchise power rankings.
The @MemGrizz are the best, Sacramento Kings are the worst & Cam Newton is on a mission. #FranchiseIssue out Friday. pic.twitter.com/XfQyVTgGO1
— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) September 17, 2013
Via Skype, @MemGrizz CEO Jason Levien's reaction to being No. 1 & explanation for the team's rise. http://t.co/AUb1Lt449p #FranchiseIssue
— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) September 18, 2013
In fact, the top four franchises are NBA teams. Last year's No. 1 team, the Spurs, finished second. The Pacers and Thunder come next.
So the Grizzlies are tops in the sports world.
It is easy to see why with a defined identity of "Grit n Grind" and a fan base that has embraced this winning attitdue. The team is growing and is very likeable. Of course, there is the major power struggle that occurred at the top of the organization that eventually pushed Lionel Hollins out and ended the tenure of the organization's most successful coach.
Of course this does not replace winning a championship. That is something the Grizzlies have yet to do.