Original Live Broadcast of Michael Heisley Buying the Vancouver Grizzlies

Another moment in “ah dammit” Vancouver sports history. This is the original live broadcast on TSN, interupting a spirited ladies tennis match, where we see Stan McCammon (remember him? The guy who blew the Gretzky to Canucks deal) start out with the following lies:

  • How this is a big day for sports fans in Vancouver
  • That this is a big day for Vancouver Grizzlies basketball fans
  • How this will bring more stability for Vancouver Grizzlies fans and make the team more successful
  • That the future looks brighter for the team
  • That Vancouver is going to feel good about the new ownership

Bang on work there Stan, oh and Vancouver did fine without Gretzky…right? All those Stanley Cup wins…

Then, good lord and then, Michael Heisley gets in one good joke (about wearing the most expensive leather jacket in Canada) before getting to the real jokes:

  • He affirms his commitment to the Vancouver Grizzlies, their fans, and the city of Vancouver. The city that no longer has an NBA team
  • He intends to do everything in his power to make the Grizzlies a success in Vancouver. The team which then quickly moved to Memphis
  • He states that he’s committed to this market. Apparently a commitment meant a year to him
  • He commits to building a winning team. A team which then lost more games than any other franchise

Michael Heisley told many lies during his first presser, but got one thing right: this is the greatest game, the greatest sport in the world. Then he lied his face off.

Another point he made I agree with is this: There’s a bright future for pro basketball in Vancouver. There is. It starts now with you joining in and taking part.

Side note: Jim van Horne’s mustache game back then is unequaled by anyone in modern media. What a magnificent example of dad-like facial hair.

18 years later. Still mad.

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