HoopsHype Michael Heisley rumors

September 27, 2012 Updates

Heisley, who has owned the franchise for the past 12 years, remains confident about his agreement to sell the team to Robert Pera despite the more-than three months that have expired since the deal was announced. "I don't think it's dragging on," said Heisley, who accepted a $10 million deposit from Pera on June 11. "Putting together the financing involving hundreds of millions of dollars is always a complex process. The banking industry is a lot more cautious and it takes a little longer than it did in the past. But I have no reason to believe that it won't go forward." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Heisley arrived in town Wednesday, and met with players and team personnel during voluntary workouts in FedExForum. Heisley described his visit as anything but a swan song. He expressed excitement about the roster and said his desire was to simply reunite with the players after their summer sabbatical. "I'm not really worried about whether (the sale) will consummate or not," Heisley said, adding that it is business as usual until Pera is approved. "There's an understanding between me and Mr. Pera that I would go forward and make the decisions that need to be made. "If there's any problem, we'll get together. But he agrees with the way we've conducted business. I don't think that there is anything that has happened that Pera would not agree with what was done." Memphis Commercial Appeal

August 26, 2012 Updates
August 25, 2012 Updates

Now according to a recent report by the Conference Board of Canada, economic and demographic trends suggest Vancouver could support another NBA franchise. Vancouver, like Montréal, is projected to see a population increase of over 1 million over the next 25 years, and it should attract more corporate headquarters. Most of the population increase will be due to immigration, much of which will come from Asia, where the popularity of basketball has grown rapidly. Vancouver demonstrated its appetite for basketball with the Grizzlies, and that appetite should continue to grow. Although the Grizzlies left Vancouver following the 2000–01 season, the population of the Vancouver CMA at that time was barely 2 million and the Canadian dollar was sinking. Those conditions have now changed. The NBA could return to Vancouver one day and be successful there, especially if the Canadian dollar remains strong. With a population of 3.5 million in 2035, the Vancouver market will be large enough to sustain franchises in the NHL, Canadian Football League (CFL), Major League Soccer, and the NBA—but not MLB. National Post

The city already has a NBA ready sports complex in the Rogers Arena, which has a sitting capacity of 19,700 for basketball games. The building housed the Grizzlies prior to their move to Memphis. However, many still question whether the Vancouver market could support the NBA. Attendance was not much of an issue during the franchises first four years in Vancouver, but it significantly declined after the shortened lockout season and the sale to Michael Heisley. Francesco Aquilini, owner of the Vancouver Canucks, are among those that are not entirely sold on the city’s support for the NBA. National Post

July 19, 2012 Updates

Scott Howard-Cooper: At Board of Governors meeting. Grizzles sale proceeding, David Stern reports. Final approval expected in "the next couple months." Twitter

June 27, 2012 Updates
June 24, 2012 Updates

It was 2005, and the Grizzlies were ending their second consecutive trip to the NBA playoffs. The scrappy electrical engineer, then 27 and renting a tiny apartment, left Apple to launch a lean little electronics firm. His timing was perfect -- precisely when villagers in Paraguay, urban dwellers in Mumbai and the new industrial hordes of Shenzhen were craving cheap and reliable wireless Internet access. From that tired office on a street dotted with bail bondsmen, Pera birthed a money machine. Ubiquiti Networks Inc., which has since moved into a tony San Jose office park across the parking lot from electronics giant Toshiba, designs inexpensive gear for wirelessly accessing the Internet. Sales neared $200 million last year, when the company went public and Pera's shares put his net worth near $1 billion. Earlier this year, the young basketball enthusiast sought out Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley. On June 11, he entered into a purchasing agreement to buy the team. The NBA is evaluating whether to approve the sale, a process that should be complete by the end of the summer. Memphis Commercial Appeal

June 21, 2012 Updates

A group of local businessmen has always wanted to buy the franchise. Before the Grizzlies arrived in Memphis, they were called the pursuit team. When it became obvious toward the end of last year that Michael Heisley was even more determined than usual to sell the Grizzlies, the group reconvened, hired investment bankers and resumed negotiating. Heisley and his lawyer, Stan Meadows, aren't big on negotiating. So they found Pera, who met their price. When they offered the locals the chance to match that price, the locals were skeptical. The last buyer Heisley dug up was Laettner. Why match the price of a phantom? So Heisley accepted Pera's deal. And Pera is no phantom. He's a real guy, with real guys on his board. In that way, the locals miscalculated. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Yes, there's a chance the bid could collapse. Pera isn't Laettner, but neither is he Heisley or Larry Ellison. The NBA scrutinizes potential owners very closely. It may well conclude that Pera is not suitable. But that's not the outcome most experts seem to expect and, in any case, the process will take weeks if not months. So cool your jets, people. Pera paid Heisley $10 million for the right to buy the Grizzlies. He's not going to walk away from that easily. Memphis Commercial Appeal

June 20, 2012 Updates
June 18, 2012 Updates

The NBA's vetting of Robert Pera has just begun and his bid to buy the Grizzlies is not in serious trouble despite a published report. Speculation to the contrary is false, according to a league source close to the process and who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The viability of Pera's bid won't be determined by the league for at least another six to eight weeks, the source said. Memphis Commercial Appeal

June 17, 2012 Updates

The Memphis Grizzlies’ sale to Robert J. Pera, announced this past week, is already in serious trouble, according to league sources. Pera owns Ubiquiti Networks, a Silicon Valley communications technology company. When its stock bottomed out in the last two weeks, his net worth plummeted from $1 billion to $200 million, according to league insiders who say that unless he has some wealthy partners lined up to help him finance the sale, it will likely fall through. In that case, the Grizzlies will continue to be owned by Michael Heisley. Pera agreed to buy the team for $350 million, a figure that raised many eyebrows around the league. New York Daily News

June 13, 2012 Updates

Though Pera signed an ownership agreement Monday afternoon, the sale from current Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley won't be official until three-quarters of that board votes "yes" on the deal. The NBA will begin its vetting of Pera upon receipt of a formal application for ownership. When the vetting process is over, the board will vote on whether to approve the sale. There is no timeframe for the approval to come, though the hope of those familiar with the sale is by the end of the summer. Memphis Commercial Appeal

June 11, 2012 Updates

Heisley had had discussions last year with billionaire Larry Ellison, who has been looking to buy an NBA team. But the discussions stalled when Ellison made clear his desire to move the Grizzlies to California. "We were not interested in getting involved in a relocation discussion," Heisley said Monday. "Mr. Ellison chose to go to the paper in San Jose, or one of his people did, which really did not please me too much." NBA.com

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