A one-of-a-kind collector’s item for sports fans with both deep pockets and ample floor space is currently up for grabs on Craigslist.
The owner of a gym in Richmond where the tranquilized, tagged and relocated Vancouver Grizzlies used to practise wants to turn the facility into a laser tag business and is asking a cool $13,000 for the 437-square-metre hardwood floor, which comes complete with the former NBA franchise’s fearsome ursine logo painted on it.
We admit that none of us at K&K are particulalry familiar with the going rate for used basketball courts, but it seems like 13 grand is a bit much and probably an attempt to take advantage of long-suffering Vancouver sports enthusiasts.
Let’s face it, pro sports aren’t giving Vancouverites much to cheer about right now. Members of the B.C. Lions are all once again back at their day jobs until next fall, the Giants’ current hockey season is looking like a giant failure, city council has likely scared away the Ultimate Fighting Championships for good, and fans of the Whitecaps are having to come to terms with the harsh reality that newly retired David Beckham will never be coming to town to play again. Meanwhile, Province sports writers are still having to churn out columns about the Canucks’ ongoing goaltending controversy even though the team hasn’t played in eight months, and team mascot Fin was reportedly spotted begging for spare change and loose herring outside the Vancouver Aquarium.
We can appreciate why someone might want some historic piece of sports memorabilia — for example, we’ll always cherish the clippings of Tony Tanti’s mullet that we collected off the floor of Supercuts and stuffed in a Ziploc bag back in 1985 — but this is the lowly Grizzlies were talking about. This is a team that finished last in their division in five of their six seasons, never managed to hit a .300 win percentage, and were rumoured to be in talks with the Harlem Globetrotters to replace the Washington Generals as their perennial opponents before instead relocating to Memphis in 2001.
It’s hard to imagine any of the team’s memorabilia being worth much, apart from: the scouting report explaining why they passed on drafting Steve Nash; one of Bryant “Big Country” Reeves’ original kneecaps; a pristine jersey autographed by Steve Francis, the 1999 draft pick who famously refused to set foot on the court as a Grizzly; or the fur-covered futon mattress once owned by team mascot and well-known lothario Super Griz.
But hey, you never know — $13,000 is chump change for some collectors. Personally, we’re saving our hard earned dough for more meaningful sports mementos, namely Dave Babych’s boyhood moustache, the alabaster lions outside of Bob Lenarduzzi’s house, an untapped tetra pack of Super Socco sports beverage and a pair of grey polyester slacks once worn by Canucks national anthem singer Richard Loney before his duties were cut in half because of that gimmicky opera dude Mark Donelly who makes the crowd do most of his singing.
(This post was first published in Kudos & Kvetches © Copyright (c) Vancouver Courier)