The Memphis Grizzlies are Memphis, Tennessee, USA based professional basketball team. Grizlies are included in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Grizzlies were established in 1995 along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. The team Memphis Grizzlies originated that year in Vancouver, British Columbia and relocated to Memphis in the year 2001. Michael Heisley was the team's majority owner, who controlled a 95% share of the franchise; the remaining 5% is controlled by several local owners, including AutoZone founder J. R. ("Pitt") Hyde, his wife Barbara Hyde, equity manager Staley Cates, and former National Basketball Association player and University of Memphis point guard Elliot Perry.
The Grizzlies, along with the Toronto Raptors, entered the NBA as an expansion franchise in the year 1995. Both of the teams were the first NBA teams to play in Canada since the year 1946–47 Toronto Huskies. The Grizzlies were originally supposed to be named the Vancouver Mounties, but they had to find a new name due to opposition from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The team then decided to adopt the name "Grizzlies," after the grizzly bear, as they are native to British Columbia.