Hasheem Thabeet is a Tanzanian professional basketball player, a free agent. He played college basketball for Connecticut before being drafted second overall in the 2009 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. Thabeet did not begin to play basketball until the age of 15, when he began to watch pick-up games in Tanzania; when first recruited from Tanzania, Thabeet knew little English. He played high school basketball at Cypress Christian School in Houston, Texas where he graduated in 2006; as a freshman for the Connecticut Huskies, he averaged 3.8 blocks per game. On 3 December 2006, Thabeet tied a UConn record for blocks in a game with 10. Thabeet was named to the 2007 All-Big East Rookie Team, along with teammate Jerome Dyson; as a sophomore, he saw increased minutes and he averaged 10.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.5 blocks on the season. On 5 January 2008, he tied his career high in blocks with 10 in the Huskies' 73–67 loss at University of Notre Dame. Thabeet was named Big East Defensive Player to the All-Big East second team.
As a junior, Thabeet emerged on the national scene, averaging 10.8 rebounds. He earned his first career triple-double against Providence College on 31 January 2009, with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks, he finished with 152 blocks on the season. He was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year and was co-Big East Player of the Year with Pitt's DeJuan Blair, he was named National Defensive Player of the Year. Thabeet surpassed the 1,000-point mark against Purdue on 26 March 2009, he was the third UConn player. Thabeet helped lead UConn to their first Final Four appearance since 2004. In April 2009, Thabeet declared for the NBA draft. Thabeet was selected with the second overall pick in 2009 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, becoming the first Tanzanian-born NBA player. On 13 December 2009, he had a season-high five blocks. On 25 February 2010, he was assigned to the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League, becoming the tallest and then-highest-drafted player to be sent to the D-League.
On 8 March 2010, he was recalled by the Grizzlies. On 24 February 2011, Thabeet was traded, along with a future first-round pick, to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Shane Battier and Ish Smith. On 21 March 2011, he was assigned with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. On 11 April 2011, he was recalled by the Rockets. On 15 March 2012, Thabeet was traded, along with Jonny Flynn and a future second-round pick, to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Marcus Camby. On 11 July 2012, Thabeet signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. On 26 November 2012, in a 114–69 win over the Charlotte Bobcats, Thabeet recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. On 26 August 2014, Thabeet was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a trade exception and a 2015 protected second-round draft pick. On 1 September 2014, he was waived by the 76ers. On 25 September 2014, Thabeet signed with the Detroit Pistons. However, he was waived by the Pistons on 20 October 2014. On 1 November 2014, Thabeet was acquired by the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League as an affiliate player of the Pistons.
In 49 games for the Drive, he averaged 6.2 rebounds per game. In July 2015, Thabeet joined the NBA D-League Select Team for the 2015 NBA Summer League. On 29 September 2017, Thabeet signed with the Yokohama B-Corsairs of the Japanese B. League. Thabeet is the son of the late Thabit Manka, he has one sister and one brother, Akbar. Thabeet is fasts during Ramadan. List of tallest players in National Basketball Association history List of NCAA Division I men's basketball career blocks leaders 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
Mike Anderson (basketball)
Michael Andre Anderson is an American basketball coach, most for the University of Arkansas. He served as an assistant/associate head coach under Nolan Richardson at Arkansas for 17 years. Over his 17 seasons as a head coach, Anderson has compiled a 369–200 record, 11 20-win campaigns, 9 NCAA Tournament appearances, two Sweet 16 berths and a run to the 2009 Elite Eight. Anderson is one of just 4 current Division I head coaches with 15+ years of experience and no losing seasons, along with Mark Few, Tom Izzo and Roy Williams. Anderson was born and raised in Birmingham, where he attended Jackson-Olin High School in the Ensley-Pratt City neighborhood, leading the Mustangs to the semifinals of the Alabama state basketball tournament and averaging 19 points per game in his junior and senior years and winning all-state honors. Anderson moved on to Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, where he was spotted by an opposing coach named Nolan Richardson; when Richardson was offered the coaching job at the University of Tulsa, he offered Anderson a scholarship.
In Anderson's two years with the Golden Hurricane he averaged 12 points a game, the team won an NIT title and gained an NCAA tournament berth. After graduating in 1982, Anderson went into substitute teaching. Richardson brought him on to the University of Tulsa's staff as a volunteer assistant; when Richardson moved on to the University of Arkansas, he brought Anderson along as an assistant for a 17-year stint, the last five as assistant head coach. During that time, the Razorbacks won three Southwest Conference championships, two Southeastern Conference titles, three appearances in the Final Four, a national championship in 1994 and a second-place finish in 1995; when Richardson was fired, Anderson took over for the remainder of the 2001–02 season as interim head coach. In 2002, Anderson took over the program at UAB, coming off a 13–17 season and had only one NCAA appearance since 1995. Anderson turned the program around, leading the team to 22 wins and a National Invitation Tournament Quarterfinals appearance.
Anderson led the Blazers to three straight appearances in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. In 2004, the Blazers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by virtue of a 76–75 upset victory over the University of Kentucky, the tournament's overall #1 seed. UAB ended. Anderson was named Conference USA Coach of the Year, is the only coach in UAB history to take the Blazers to the post season every year of his tenure. Anderson was hired in 2006 to take over the mess at the University of Missouri, rehabilitating a program, under investigation under Quin Snyder. Anderson's first team, a collection of transfers and raw talent, went 18–12 but missed out on post-season play after a loss to Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament, his 2007–08 campaign saw the inclusion of his nephew DeMarre Carroll, a transfer from Vanderbilt, but was hit by scandal, as a group of players were arrested for a fight in a Columbia nightclub. That incident marked the second disciplinary issue of the season for Anderson's team. Before the season, starting forward Kalen Grimes had been dismissed from the team after being arrested for hitting a man with the butt of a shotgun.
The Tigers finished 16–16, losing in the Big 12 Tourney to Nebraska and missing out on post-season play. Anderson's third season at Mizzou in 2008–09 brought with it many questions: How well would he be able to blend his seven new players with the remaining Tigers from the previous season including the only two remaining players from the Quin Snyder era? After failing to reach the post season his first two seasons would Mike Anderson be able to lead his Tigers to an NIT or NCAA post season tournament? Missouri was picked to finish 7th in the Big 12 by the coaches; the Tigers season got off to a great start with a 9–1 record including wins over USC and Cal and a close loss to a top 25 team in Puerto Rico. The Tigers finished their non-conference schedule with a record of 13–2; the team lost the conference opener but responded by winning eleven of their next twelve Big 12 games including a last-second win at Texas, which earned them a national ranking, a memorable win over their arch rival Kansas at home, where the Tigers climbed back from a 14-point halftime deficit to win the game after Zaire Taylor's game winning shot with 1.3 seconds remaining.
Mike Anderson's 2008–09 Tiger team finished their last home game of the season by beating #5 Oklahoma on senior night. The Tigers went undefeated at home; the Tigers won the Big 12 Conference tournament by defeating Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Baylor on successive nights. Victories over Cornell and Memphis pushed the Tigers into the Elite 8, where top-seeded UConn ended Missouri's run with an 82–75 win. Anderson was one of ten finalists for the 2008–09 Henry Iba Award; the other 9 finalists were Memphis. On March 31, 2009, Anderson signed a 7-year extension at Missouri, passing up an offer from the University of Georgia; the extension increased Anderson's base salary to $1.6 million and up to $2.2 million with incentives. The offer Anderson turned down from Georgia was worth more than $2 million a year. Anderson turned down a $3 million a year offer to coach the University of Oregon during the summer of 2010. Anderson's teams went 23–11 and finished fifth in the conference in both of hi
Paul Anthony Pierce, nicknamed "The Truth", is an American former professional basketball player who played 19 seasons in the National Basketball Association. Pierce was a high school McDonald's All-American and earned consensus first-team All-America honors in his junior year at Kansas. After being chosen by the Boston Celtics with the 10th overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft, Pierce spent the first 15 years of his career with Boston. Pierce's nickname, "The Truth", was given to him by Shaquille O'Neal in March 2001, he starred as captain of the Celtics, earning 10 All-Star nods and becoming a four-time All-NBA team member. Pierce combined with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007 to form a "Big Three" that led Boston to two NBA Finals and an NBA championship in 2008. Pierce was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 2008. Along with Larry Bird and John Havlicek, Pierce is one of only three players to have scored more than 20,000 career points with the Celtics. In July 2013, Pierce was traded to the Brooklyn Nets along with teammates Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry.
He signed with the Washington Wizards as a free agent in 2014. After one season with the Wizards, Pierce reunited with former Celtics coach Doc Rivers and signed with the Clippers, he spent two seasons with the Clippers before retiring in 2017. On July 17, 2017, the Celtics signed Pierce to a contract, enabling him to retire as a member of the organization with which he spent his first 15 NBA seasons. Pierce was raised in Oakland, California, his family moved to Inglewood, where he attended Inglewood High School. He was cut from Inglewood High's varsity basketball team his freshman and sophomore years, thought about transferring before spending extra time in the gym and becoming the star of the team by the end of his junior year. Pierce went on to participate in the 1995 McDonald's All-American Game alongside future NBA stars Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter, Stephon Marbury, Antawn Jamison, was a contestant in the game's Slam Dunk Contest, won by Carter, he grew up a Los Angeles Lakers dreamed of playing for the team.
In 2012, Pierce was honored as one of the 35 Greatest McDonald's All-Americans. Pierce spent three years at Kansas between 1995 and 1998, he earned honorable mention All-Big Eight honors and was selected second team Freshman All-American by Basketball Weekly. He was honored as the Big Eight Co-Freshman of the Year with Colorado's Chauncey Billups. During summer of 1996, Pierce earned a spot on the roster of the USA's Under 22 team and helped USA go unbeaten in the World Championship-qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico; as a sophomore, Pierce captured the first of two Big 12 Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player awards after averaging 21.7 points and guiding Kansas to the inaugural tournament championship. As a junior in 1997–98, Pierce won Most Valuable Player honors in both the Preseason NIT and the Big 12 Conference Tournament, he was selected First Team All-Big 12 Conference by both the AP and Coaches, was named Associated Press First Team All-American and a finalist for the 1998 John Wooden and Naismith awards.
He scored 777 points as a junior—the fifth-most single-season point total in Jayhawks history. He 11th on the all-time rebounds list. Pierce entered the 1998 NBA draft. Pierce was selected with the 10th overall pick in 1998 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, a team he despised growing up. A starter from the get-go, he scored 19 or more points in 10 of his first 11 contests, was on his way to being one of the best young players in the game. For the year, he averaged 16.5 points and finished third in the voting for Rookie of the Year honors. In his second season, he raised his scoring average to 19.5 points per game, was turning into one of the elite offensive players in the NBA. By his third season in the league, Pierce was ready for a breakout year. In the 2000–01 season, Pierce appeared in 82 games, averaging 25.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.68 steals in 38.0 minutes. He finished eighth in the league in points per game, fourth in total points, he was named NBA Player of the Month for March 2001 after averaging 30.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.60 steals for the month.
In the 2001–02 season, Pierce was named Eastern Conference Co-Player of the Month twice, for December and April. That season, Pierce led the Celtics to the playoffs for the first time in seven years and on to the Eastern Conference Finals. In Game 3 of the conference finals, the Celtics pulled off the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NBA playoff history, with Pierce scoring 19 of his 28 points in the final 12 minutes as Boston overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the New Jersey Nets 94–90; the win gave the Celtics a 2–1 advantage in the series. From 2002 to 2006, Pierce made the All-Star team every season, he led the league in total points in 2002 and was an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2002 and 2003. He was selected as a member of the US national team in 2002 and played in the FIBA World Championships, but while Pierce was achieving astounding personal success, the Celtics as a franchise was stumbling. In the 2006–07 season, Boston finished with 24 wins—second-worst record in the NBA—and Pierce played only 47 games due to injury.
Prior to the 2007–08 season, the Celtics acquired the services of fellow NBA All-Stars Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. The pair combined with Pierce to form a "Big Three"; the Celtics completed the largest single-season turnaround in NBA history, with the "Big Three" leading Boston to 66 wins in the regular season, a 42-game impr
2009 NBA draft
The 2009 NBA draft was held on June 25, 2009, at the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In this draft, the National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur U. S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The Los Angeles Clippers, who won the draft lottery on May 19, 2009, used their first overall draft pick to draft Blake Griffin from University of Oklahoma. However, he missed the entire 2009–10 season due to surgery on his broken left kneecap, which he injured during the pre-season. Tanzanian-born Hasheem Thabeet from University of Connecticut was drafted second by the Memphis Grizzlies. Thabeet became the first player born in Tanzania to be drafted by an NBA team. James Harden was drafted 3rd by the Oklahoma City Thunder; this made him the first player to be drafted by the franchise as the Oklahoma City Thunder whose franchise moved from Seattle to OKC in 2008. The Sacramento Kings drafted Tyreke Evans 4th. Spanish teenager Ricky Rubio was drafted 5th by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rubio became the fifth-highest-drafted international player who never played U. S. college basketball to be drafted in the NBA, tied with Nikoloz Tskitishvili, behind Yao Ming, Andrea Bargnani, Darko Miličić and Pau Gasol. Twenty-third pick Omri Casspi became the first Israeli player to be drafted in the first round, he became the first Israeli to play in the NBA; the 2009 draft marked the first time three sons of former NBA players were selected in the top 15 picks of the draft. Stephen Curry, son of Dell Curry, was drafted 7th by the Golden State Warriors. Gerald Henderson Jr. son of Gerald Henderson, was drafted 12th by the Charlotte Bobcats. Austin Daye, son of Darren Daye, was drafted 15th by the Detroit Pistons; the draft marked the first time a former high school player who skipped college to play professional basketball in Europe was selected in an NBA draft. Brandon Jennings, who skipped college to play professional basketball with Italian team Lottomatica Roma, was drafted 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the draft.
Stephen Curry was named NBA MVP for 2 consecutive years, won his first NBA championship in 2015. Of the 60 players drafted, four were freshmen, nine were sophomores, 12 were juniors, 22 were seniors, 13 were international players without U. S. college basketball experience. The University of North Carolina's Tar Heels had the most players selected in the draft; this marked the second time that four Tar Heels players were selected in the first two rounds of an NBA draft. The Minnesota Timberwolves had the league-high four first-round draft picks and the first time in team history that the team held two top-10 draft picks; the Timberwolves had two second-round draft picks and became the team with the most draft picks in the 2009 draft with a total of six. The Houston Rockets and the Orlando Magic were the only NBA teams who did not have a draft pick this year, although Houston acquired three drafted players' rights after the draft. ^ a: Nick Calathes was born in the United States, has dual U. S. and Greek citizenship by birth.
He has represented Greece internationally.^ b: Goran Suton, born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a naturalized citizen of the United States since 2006.^ c: Emir Preldžič, born in Bosnia and Herzegovina has Slovenian and Turkish citizenship. He had represented Slovenia internationally in 2008, before switching to Turkey.^ d: Chinemelu Elonu was born in Nigeria, is a naturalized citizen of the United States. These players were not selected in the 2009 NBA draft but have played at least one game in the NBA; the basic requirements for draft eligibility are: All drafted players must be born on or before December 31, 1990. Any player, not an "international player", as defined in the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players union, must be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class; the CBA defines "international players" as players who permanently resided outside the U. S. for three years prior to the draft, did not complete high school in the U. S. and have never enrolled at a U.
S. college or university. The basic requirement for automatic eligibility for a U. S. player is the completion of his college eligibility. Players who meet the CBA definition of "international players" are automatically eligible if their 22nd birthday falls during or before the calendar year of the draft. U. S. players who were at least one year removed from their high school graduation and have played professional basketball with a team outside the NBA were automatically eligible. Former high school player Brandon Jennings meets these criteria, having graduated high school in 2008, skipped college basketball and played professional basketball in Italy. A player, not automatically eligible must declare his eligibility for the draft by notifying the NBA offices in writing no than 60 days before the draft. For the 2009 draft, this date fell on April 26. An early entry candidate is allowed to withdraw his eligibility for the draft by notifying the NBA offices in writing no than 10 days before the draft.
This year, a total of 74 collegiate players and 29 international players declared as early entry candidates. At the withdrawal deadline, 55 early-entry candidates withdrew from the
Ishmael Larry Smith is an American professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for Wake Forest before going undrafted in the 2010 NBA draft. Smith attended Central Cabarrus High School playing under Scott Brewer, he averaged 24.8 points and 9.8 assists per game as a senior and led Central Cabarrus to a 25–3 record and a MECA–6 Conference regular season and tournament title, which earned him the Meca–6 Conference Player of the Year in 2006, all-conference honors and being named Piedmont Player of the Year by the Charlotte Observer's. When he graduated, he was ranked as the No. 28 point guard in the country according to Rivals.com while being rated by Scout.com as the No. 17 point guard and the No. 82 prospect nationally. Smith played college basketball for Wake Forest, finishing second all-time for assists in school history. In his four years with the Deacons he had averages of 9.2 points, 5.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.26 steals in 121 games.
He stands as the only player in school history with 1,000 points and 600 assists in his career. As a senior, Smith averaged 6.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.68 steals. He was named Second-Team All-ACC and earned Second-Team All-District honors from the NABC. Smith received the team’s Murray Greason Award and Team Assists Leader award after finishing third in the ACC and seventh nationally in assists per game in 2009–10. After going undrafted on the 2010 NBA draft, Smith signed with the Houston Rockets on August 23, 2010. On January 17, 2011, he was assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League, he was recalled by the Rockets on January 24, reassigned on February 1, an recalled again on February 7. On February 24, 2011, Smith was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies along with teammate Shane Battier in exchange for Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and a future first round draft pick. Smith made 15 appearances for the Grizzlies in the 2010–11 season after the trade, all off of the bench.
On December 14, 2011, Smith was waived by the Grizzlies. On December 16, 2011, Smith was claimed off waivers by the Golden State Warriors. On December 28, he started for the Warriors in a win against the New York Knicks in place of the injured Stephen Curry, scoring 11 points, with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Smith was waived by the Warriors on January 13, 2012. On February 2, 2012, Smith signed with the Orlando Magic. On August 15, 2012, he re-signed with the Magic. On February 21, 2013, Smith was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks along with J. J. Redick and Gustavo Ayón in exchange for Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb and Tobias Harris. On August 29, 2013, Smith and Viacheslav Kravtsov were traded to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Caron Butler. In his third game with the Suns, Smith produced a career-high 8 assists in a 104–98 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Smith matched his career-high in assists in a 116–100 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on January 4, 2014. Smith became one of only three Suns backups since the 1980s to collect at least two 8-assist games in less than 20 minutes of playing time in a single season.
On February 21, 2014, he scored a career-high 15 points in a 106–85 win over the San Antonio Spurs. On July 15, 2014, he was waived by the Suns. On July 19, 2014, Smith signed with the Houston Rockets. However, he was waived by the Rockets on October 27 after appearing in seven preseason games. On November 7, 2014, Smith signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder to help the team deal with numerous injuries. Oklahoma City had to use an NBA hardship exemption in order to sign him as he made their roster stand at 16, one over the allowed limited of 15. After the team's hardship exemption expired, Smith was kept on the roster as the Thunder released Sebastian Telfair instead. On February 19, 2015, Smith was traded, along with the rights to Latavious Williams, cash considerations and draft considerations, to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for further draft considerations, he was subsequently waived by the Pelicans that day. On February 22, 2015, Smith signed with the Philadelphia 76ers. On March 2, 2015, he recorded career-highs of 19 points and 9 assists in a loss to the Toronto Raptors.
The 76ers' offensive numbers demonstrably improved after acquiring Smith as their starting point guard, Nerlens Noel referred to Smith as "the first true point guard I've really played with." On March 11 and April 1, he scored a career-high 23 points. He went on to average 12.0 points and 6.1 assists in 27.1 minutes per game for the 76ers in 2014–15, all career-highs. On September 25, 2015, Smith signed with the Washington Wizards. However, he was waived by the Wizards on October 24 after appearing in five preseason games. On October 26, Smith was claimed off waivers by the New Orleans Pelicans and made his debut for the team the following day in the season opener. In 38 minutes of action off the bench, he recorded 17 points and 9 assists in a loss to the defending champion Golden State Warriors. On November 6, he recorded 8 points and a career-high 11 assists in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Four days he recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and a career-high 12 assists in a 120–105 win over the Dallas Mavericks, marking the Pelicans' first win of the season.
He broke his career-high for assists for a third time on November 20, recording 17 points and 13 assists in a 104–90 win over the San Antonio Spurs. On December 24, 2015, Smith was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for two future second-round draft picks. In his first game back for the 76ers two days he scored 14 points and helped the team record just the
The small forward known as the three, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are shorter and leaner than power forwards and centers, but taller and larger than either of the guard positions; the small forward is considered to be the most versatile of the five main basketball positions. In the NBA, small forwards range from 6' 6" to 6' 10" while in the WNBA, small forwards are between 5' 11" to 6' 2". Small forwards are responsible for scoring points, defending and as secondary or tertiary rebounders behind the power forward and center, although a few have considerable passing responsibilities. Many small forwards in professional basketball are prolific scorers; the styles with which small forwards amass their points vary widely. Some players at the position are accurate shooters, others prefer to initiate physical contact with opposing players, still others are slashers who possess jump shots. In some cases, small forwards position as off-the-ball specialists.
Small forwards who are defensive specialists are versatile as they can guard multiple positions using their size and strength
The Memphis Grizzlies are an American professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies compete in the National Basketball Association as a member team of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the Grizzlies play their home games at FedExForum. The team is owned by Robert Pera; the Grizzlies are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues based in the city of Memphis. The team was established as the Vancouver Grizzlies, an expansion team that joined the NBA for the 1995–96 season. After the 2000–01 season concluded, the Grizzlies moved to Memphis; the Vancouver Grizzlies were a Canadian professional basketball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association; the team was established in 1995, along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. Following the 2000–01 season, the team relocated to Memphis, United States, were renamed as the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies played their home games at General Motors Place for the entirety of their six seasons in Vancouver. The Vancouver Grizzlies applied to the NBA to relocate to Memphis on March 26, 2001, granted on July 3; as a result, the Grizzlies became the first major professional sports team from the "big four" major leagues to permanently play its home games in Memphis, as well as leaving the Toronto Raptors to be the only Canadian basketball team in the NBA. Memphis became the easternmost city in the Western Conference. In their first three seasons in Memphis, the Grizzlies played their home games at the Pyramid Arena. In the 2001 NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks chose Pau Gasol as the third overall pick, traded to the Grizzlies. Forward Shane Battier was selected with the sixth pick in the same draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies, they acquired Jason Williams from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Mike Bibby that same year. After the Grizzlies' first season in Memphis, Gasol won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
However, despite the strong draft class, general manager Billy Knight was let go. After Knight's departure and the season, the team hired former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Famer Jerry West as general manager in 2002, who received the 2003–04 NBA Executive of the Year Award. After West's arrival the team was changed a great deal from Knight's team, with the removal of Sidney Lowe as head coach after 0–8 start to the season and a great deal of player movement, with players such as Mike Miller and James Posey becoming vital to the team's success. During the 2002–03 season, Hubie Brown was hired to coach the Grizzlies. Brown won the NBA Coach of the Year Award during the next season when the Grizzlies made the NBA playoffs for the first time in team history in 2004 as the sixth seed in the Western Conference in a drastic change from being perennially one of the worst teams in the NBA, they won a record 50 games under Gasol and Williams. In the playoffs they faced the San Antonio Spurs. Brown stepped down as head coach during the 2004–05 season.
At the time of his resignation, the Grizzlies had a losing record but West hired TNT analyst and former coach Mike Fratello to replace Brown. The Grizzlies' record improved and the team advanced to the postseason for the second consecutive season. However, the Grizzlies were swept out in the first round again, this time by the Phoenix Suns. After the season, which ended with anger between Fratello and many of the players, namely Bonzi Wells and Jason Williams, the team had an active 2005 off-season in which they revamped the team and added veterans. While the Grizzlies lost Wells, Stromile Swift, James Posey, they acquired Damon Stoudamire, Bobby Jackson, Hakim Warrick, Eddie Jones, they made the playoffs for the third consecutive year as well. With their record they had the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and would face the Dallas Mavericks, who swept the Grizzlies in four games. Following the 2006 NBA draft, Jerry West traded Shane Battier to the Houston Rockets for their first round pick Rudy Gay and Stromile Swift.
Before the 2006–07 season, they suffered a blow when Gasol broke his left foot while playing for Spain in the World Championships. The Grizzlies started the season 5–17 without Gasol, went 1–7 while he was limited to about 25 minutes per game. At that point, Fratello was replaced by Tony Barone, Sr. as interim coach. Barone was the team's player personnel director and had never coached an NBA game though he had coached at the collegiate level for both Creighton and Texas A&M being named coach of the year in their conferences three times during his tenure; the Grizzlies finished the 2006–07 season with a league-worst 22–60 record, Jerry West announced his resignation from his position as the team's general manager shortly after the end of the regular season. The team hired Marc Iavaroni, with the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach, to be the team's new head coach. Despite the last-place finish, the Grizzlies, who held the best chance of landing the first pick, ended up with the fourth pick in the 2007 NBA draft, with which the Grizzlies selected Mike Conley, Jr.
On June 18, 2007, the Grizzlies named former Boston Celtics general manager Chris Wallace as the team's general manager and vice president of basketball operations, replacing the retired West. A few days they hired former Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic head coach Johnny Davis, longtime NBA assistant coach Gordon Chiesa, the head coach of the 2007 NBA Development League champion Dakota Wizards, David Joerger, as the team's new assistant coaches. Gene Bartow was named the Grizzlies' president of basketb