FILE – Two Vancouver Grizzlies fans hold up their sign during the final home game of the season at GM Place in Vancouver against the Houston Rockets Saturday April 14, 2001. The NBA franchise moved Memphis after six years in Vancouver. (CP PHOTO/Chuck Stoody)

Fans rally to bring back the Vancouver Grizzlies outside NBA pre-season game

Kawhi Leonard to play in Vancouver on Oct. 17

Kawhi Leonard might be coming to Vancouver for a night but NBA fans are hoping for a more permanent basketball presence in the city.

A rally is being organized before the LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks pre-season game Thursday night in support of bringing back the Vancouver Grizzlies.

Founded in 1995, at the same time as the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies played six seasons in Vancouver before heading south to Memphis where they’ve played ever since.

With former Raptors star Leonard headed to Vancouver with his new team, Grizzlies fans saw a perfect opportunity to remind the NBA that another Canadian city wants to play ball.

The event is organized by Kat Jayme, a director of a recently released Grizzlies film Finding Big Country.

The #NBAtoYVR rally takes place at 4:30 p.m. by the Nielsen Statue at Rogers Arena. Fans are encouraged to wear their Grizzlies gear, and bring signs and their white rally towels.

READ MORE: Fans in Canada and abroad mourn and reflect as Kawhi Leonard leaves the Raptors


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