Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)

International Players, 2023-24 Season

Santi AldamaForwardSpain2023-24Las Palmas, Spain
Brandon ClarkeForwardCanada2023-24Vancouver, Canada
Wenyen GabrielForwardSouth Sudan2023-24Khartoum, Sudan
Yuta WatanabeGuard / ForwardJapan2023-24Yokohama, Japan

Memphis Grizzlies Team History

The Memphis Grizzlies have forged a distinctive path in the NBA, marked not only by their on-court prowess but also by their unique tradition of embracing international talent. Since their relocation to Memphis in 2001, the Grizzlies have consistently featured a diverse roster, with players hailing from various corners of the globe. This commitment to international players has not only enriched the team’s culture but has also contributed to their success on the court. One of the pivotal moments in this tradition was the drafting of Pau Gasol from Spain in 2001. Gasol quickly made an impact, earning Rookie of the Year honors in 2002 and becoming the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. His tenure with the Grizzlies laid the foundation for the team’s embrace of international talent.

Following Gasol’s departure, the Grizzlies continued to prioritize international recruitment, which led to the acquisition of Marc Gasol, Pau’s younger brother, also from Spain. Marc’s arrival in Memphis in 2008 signaled a new era for the team. Known for his exceptional basketball IQ and defensive prowess, Marc Gasol became a cornerstone for the Grizzlies, playing a pivotal role in their playoff runs and earning multiple All-Star selections. His impact extended beyond individual accolades, as he helped lead the team to its first-ever Western Conference Finals appearance in 2013. Marc’s success solidified the Grizzlies’ reputation as a destination for top international talent.

In recent years, the Grizzlies have continued to uphold their tradition of embracing international players. Notably, the team bolstered their roster with international talent such as Jonas Valančiūnas from Lithuania (who now plays for the Pelicans), whose inside presence has been instrumental in the team’s recent playoff pushes. As the NBA continues to globalize, the Memphis Grizzlies stand as a testament to the transformative impact of international players on a franchise’s identity and success.