It’s Basketball Weekend in Vancouver

Everything your hoop dreams could ask for.

September 28, 2018

By Nathan Caddell

There’s an argument to be made that Vancouver’s dabble with professional basketball was simply a matter of bad timing. The city’s appetite for the sport has seemingly blossomed in recent years, and the increasing diversity in what has long been a multicultural hub has only helped that along.

Indeed, if the Vancouver Grizzlies had come along, say, five or 10 years ago, it’s hard to see the team shipping out to Memphis (where they don’t even have Grizzlies, WTF) after six seasons. Don’t be surprised if, in the coming years, talk about bringing back the teal-coloured crew grows to a roar.

For now, Vancouver basketball fans have more than enough to keep them occupied. As the Toronto Raptors come to town to play the Portland Trail Blazers in an exhibition contest, a couple other hoop-related events have (both coincidentally and not) popped up at the same time.

Here’s what’s going on in Vancouver, on and off the court.

Grizzlies Pop-up Shop at Dipt – Friday, September 28

Ever had to RSVP for a pop-up shop? Well, you have to for this one and if you intend on going, you’ll want to, as this is going to be packed to the rafters. Dipt (819 Hornby St.) is holding a Vancouver Grizzlies pop-up shop, with shirts, shorts and hats all up for grabs.

If you haven’t noticed, Grizzlies gear is quite popular—and somewhat rare—in the city, so this is your perfect chance to show everybody that you’re one of those cool Vancouverites.

However, there is one caveat.

This is Vancouver Grizzlies swag, definitely. But it’s also kinda not. See, the popular VANCITY brand is responsible for these items, which means that, along with the snarling grizzly bear, they will have that ubiquitous VANCITY logo on them as well.  

It might not be a problem for everyone—hey, that logo is popular for a reason—but just keep that in mind.

NBA Crossover – Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29

After stops in London, Paris, Milan, New Orleans and L.A., NBA Crossover makes its Canadian debut at The Permanent (330 West Pender). This free exhibition takes a look at how the sport interacts with culture through fashion, history, art and gaming.

It’ll also have appearances by NBA legends and an NBA 2K19 gaming lounge. It’s pretty much the coolest thing to happen to The Permanent since Veronica Lodge.

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NBA Canada Series – Saturday, September 28

The Toronto Raptors take on the Portland Trail Blazers in an exhibition contest at Rogers Arena. It’s the second time the Raptors have graced Vancouver with a preseason game in the last three years. It’s the Raptors’ first preseason game, and that could mean the first appearance in a Toronto uniform for prized acquisition Kawhi Leonard (pictured), who’s widely considered one of the best players in the league. 

Tickets have been sold out for quite some time now, but we’re betting there are some bargain deals to be found on the interwebs (jokes, single tickets on Craigslist are going for a minimum of $100).

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Finding Big Country – Sunday, September 30

In her just-barely-long-enough-to-be-a-feature film, Kathleen Jayme, a Vancouver native and lifelong Grizzlies fan, goes in search of Bryant “Big Country” Reeves, the team’s first-ever draft pick.

Reeves hasn’t surfaced much since flaming out as an NBA player and retiring the season before the team would leave for Memphis.

While it’s not clear whether Jayme actually finds Reeves (or whether he’ll have much more to say than “Yeah, I’m just farming over here in Wisconsin”), the film is garnering all sorts of hype. The Sunday showing (at the Vancouver Playhouse) is sold out, but organizers say there will be a limited amount of tickets at the door. 

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