NBA says it won't allow corporate nickname for Memphis team

Tuesday, May 22nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ The NBA may not let the Vancouver Grizzlies become the Memphis Express if the basketball team moves to town.

FedEx Corp. wants to buy naming rights to the team and a new arena if the NBA grants permission for the Grizzlies to move to Memphis, the overnight shipping company's headquarters. FedEx discussed the possibility of Memphis Express as a team name in its approximately $100 million offer.

However, Joel Litvin, NBA executive vice president of legal and business affairs, said the league forbids corporate nicknames. ``That's not territory that we're prepared to enter,'' Litvin told The Commercial Appeal on Monday.

FedEx spokeswoman Shirley Clark said team and arena names have not been settled.

``I don't know what other names may have been suggested, so there's nothing to indicate we would not still be interested at this point,'' she said Tuesday.