Michael Heisley officially hands Grizzlies ownership to Robert Pera

10/30/12 in NBA   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The era of Michael Heisley as Memphis Grizzlies owner finally came to an end after money officially changed hands Monday. This transfer of ownership was long expected, and became evident in the immediate future after the NBA board of governors unanimously approved the sale of the Memphis Grizzlies during a meeting this Thursday.
The 70-year-old Michael Heisley initially bought the Memphis Grizzlies for $160 million in 2000. Michael Heisley tried to increase the Memphis Grizzlies’ winning percentage throughout the season, but he didn’t seem to catch a break on own court. However, Michael Heisley’s developmental efforts paid off when the Memphis Grizzlies’ net worth increased to $269 million. Michael Heisley’s survival with the Memphis Grizzlies better depended on the team’s on court luck, something that had not much to do with Michael Heisley. The Memphis Grizzlies were sold at a final price of$377 million.
Michael Heisley can also be credited with a major milestone in the Grizzlies history. He took over the Memphis Grizzlies shortly before its move from Vancouver and relocated it to Memphis, a city which welcomed its first team from the four major leagues in 2001. Michael Heisley also gave eth Memphis Grizzlies a new home by constructing the $250 million FedExForum in 2004.
Although the Memphis Grizzlies’ 12th owner, had long been portrayed as the new owner and even made  handshake agreement on the sale of the team with Michael Heisley on 11th June, shortly followed by a certain down payment amount; still Robert Pera never appeared publically to make statements. The California tech’s founder Robert Pera maintained his distance from cameras and its is still unclear when he will be formally introduced by the team.
As the majority shareholder of the Memphis Grizzlies, Robert Pera also introduced his old ownership group into the business. Overall, the other investors recruited by Robert Pera widely vary. The new Memphis Grizzlies ownership includes business men such as Autozone founder J.R. “Hyde,” financer Duncan Williams, investors Staley Cates and Edward Cobbs, as well as cell phone developer Billy Orgel.
The Memphis Grizzlies ownership also includes sports stars such as former NBA veterans Elliot Perry and Penny Hardaway as well as NFL quarterback Peyton Mannings and his wife, Memphis native Ashley. Singer Justin Timberlake is also on the list, which also includes ex-Congressman Harold Ford Jr.
However, the most important issue for Memphis locals in the transfer of ownership remains that the team should stay in the city. And on his exit, Michael Heisley tried to ensure that negotiating a three-pronged proposal with Robert Pera that safeguards and binds the Memphis Grizzlies to the city with the deal on FedExForum active for another 15 years.
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