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Vancouver Owner Would Consider Moving Team

February 04, 2001|From Associated Press

Vancouver Grizzly owner Michael Heisley will meet with NBA Commissioner David Stern during All-Star weekend to discuss options for his struggling franchise.

He said moving the team is "a consideration."

"I talked to David Stern today," Heisley said. "I told him we continue to have some serious problems with the team and with financial aspects with the team and so on."

He wouldn't go into details about what would be discussed, saying it would be a free-form discussion with give and take on both sides. He promised to hold a news conference after the meeting to tell the fans what his thinking is at that time.

As for relocation of the team, Heisley said, "There are not a lot of places, quite frankly, contrary to people's belief, that you can go with an NBA franchise."

Heisley cited attendance and a poor win-loss record as areas of concern, but said it goes deeper than that.

"If I thought an improvement of the record would solve all of the problems I have in Vancouver, then I wouldn't be calling Mr. Stern," he said. "Do I believe the people in Vancouver have a reason not to come to the game in large numbers? Absolutely. We're not putting a winning team on the floor."

He said the team would lose somewhere between $25 million and $50 million and that the situation has deteriorated for the last three months.

"I could see myself walking away from it," he said.


The Toronto Raptors put guard Muggsy Bogues on the injured list because of a sore right knee and activated center Mamadou N'diaye. . . . Atlanta Hawk Chris Crawford did not play Saturday against Orlando because of a mild concussion. . . . Golden State Warrior guard Larry Hughes did not play against Dallas because of a recurring right thumb injury. . . . Rod Strickland of the Washington Wizards did not play against Denver because of a sore hamstring. . . . Vancouver center Bryant Reeves missed his second game in a row because of flu.

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