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Report: Grizzlies’ owner Heisley will sell team to young billionaire Pera

Jun 11, 2012, 3:31 PM EDT


Robert Pera is a 34-year-old billionaire about to own an NBA team. So, what have you been doing with your life?

In a move that Grizzlies have have both hoped for and feared (because the new owner might try to move the team), owner Michael Heisley has apparently found a buyer and will sell the team. So reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

Sources told that Heisley has an agreement in principle to sell the team to communications technology magnate Robert Pera, who at 34 has a spot on Forbes’ list of the 10 youngest billionaries in the world.

The purchase price is in the $350 million range, sources said. A formal announcement to publicize the agreement between the parties is expected this week, possibly as soon as later Monday, with NBA Board of Governors approval then required before Pera can be officially installed as successor to Heisley, who recently turned 75.

Sources say that Pera intends to keep the team in Memphis. The Grizzlies’ lease at the FedExForum, furthermore, ties the team to the city until the year 2021, with steep financial penalties attached to breaking that lease.

That last paragraph is the key — the Grizzlies will not be on the move.

As this team is locked in place for a while, this move could be a good thing for the Grizzlies, a franchise already on the upswing but could different energy and change at the top. Heisley was far from loved by fans. Pera reportedly is an avid basketball player.

We don’t know much about Pera, other than he is a former Apple engineer who founded wireless company Ubiquiti Networks, which is where he made his money. According to Forbes he lives a very stripped-down, no frills life — leases his car, lives in a one-bedroom apartment, the kind of guy who doesn’t check a bag when he travels. Which could be interesting in the frill-filled life of the NBA.

But he could be a real breath of fresh air and help take an already good Grizzles team to new heights.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    “Robert Pera is a 34 year old billionaire about to own an NBA team. So, what have you been doing with your life”…

    Apparently absolutly nothing! lol

  2. fm31970 - Jun 11, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Woo-hoo, a new NBA owner buddy!!


    Mark Cuban

    Not a bad team to purchase, really. They have some talent, a great coach in Lionel Hollins, and are young enough to be together for a few more runs.

  3. magicbucs - Jun 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Yes! a Hispanic owner! I’m so proud. We’ve come a long way lol. I’m a 34 yr and self employed. Not an NBA owner, damn lol

  4. going4iton4th - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    New ownership for the Griz could be a great thing for the locals. Heisley has never been loved there because of his Chicago ties. Pera is obviously not local, but he’s a fresh face maybe the anti-Heisley you could say. A new owner like Pera might be better for the Griz.

  5. mrlaloosh - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Lives like the UniBomber. OLE

  6. badintent - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    He leases a one off Ferrari, his one bedroom is on top of the Trump’s new digs and his watch is that crazyass $500,000 one that Raffa Nadel wears… but the dude is frugal.He gets his chicks from backpage like the rest of us. LOL

  7. trickybastard - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Sweet maybe he will move them to San Jose

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