By Lee Eric Smith

For years, I’ve watched as many NBA teams rolled out cool throwback jerseys . . . while the Memphis Grizzlies got them (mostly) wrong. I only thought I hated those “Memphis Pros” throwbacks . . .  until they rolled out those horrendous yellow and green “Memphis Tams” throwbacks.

And the whole time, I’m thinking: “Dang. Those black and teal jerseys from the early 2000s . . . what’s wrong with those?” And at long last, the answer is: NOTHING.

On Thursday, the Grizzlies announced two sets of throwback jerseys, to commemorate two eras of the franchise. This season, Ja, Jaren and all other “J” players will rock the teal “Vancouver Grizzlies” jerseys, to celebrate the founding of the franchise 25 years ago. Then in the 2020-21 season, the team will don those classic black and teal jerseys to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s move to Memphis in 2001.

“The opportunity to connect the history of our franchise over two consecutive seasons deserved a special approach,” said team president Jason Wexler in a statement. “It was an easy decision to bring back the iconic teal uniforms for the upcoming 25th Season of the franchise and give our fans the classic look from the Vancouver era that they love.

“Looking ahead to next season, we get to celebrate the 20th Season of the Grizzlies in Memphis with the Memphis Classic uniform, worn when the team first moved to Grind City,” Wexler added.

Finally, (and just when I was getting used to that horizontal hardwood thing) there will be a new court design.

“We wanted to go even further to enhance the in-game experience for our fans with an alternate court that celebrates and connects the best of both eras,” Wexler said. “From the black base and two-toned hardwood to the asymmetry that gives nods to our current design, this floor includes elements from every Grizzlies floor featured in both the Vancouver and early Memphis eras while bridging the past with the present.”

This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender

Grizzlies unveil throwbacks to celebrate franchise anniversaries

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