Robert Pera Rumors
Q: How has owner Robert Pera dealt with this season? A: Robert has been great to work for. He gives us support and the resources to maximize our team. With player salaries, we go up to the (luxury) tax. He’s new to this but he’s adapted very quickly. We run everything by Robert. That’s the NBA today. You don’t run the front office off to the side. The owner doesn’t read about what he’s done the next day in the paper. We’re explaining who these players are and what the case is. We lay it out. And we’ve skewed these call-ups toward being young. We were in a fortunate position of playing from ahead during this tumultuous time. We weren’t scrambling to get into the playoffs. We had the luxury of taking a look at younger guys. We’re very cognizant of hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.
Grizzlies minority owner and co-executive chairman Steve Kaplan, a California venture capitalist, had planned to sell his Grizzlies stake to buy 30 percent of the Wolves with a path to eventually take over as controlling owner. However, sources tell ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe, a dispute between Kaplan and Grizzlies owner Robert Pera over shares in the team led to a behind-the-scenes battle that took months to resolve.
Meanwhile, sources say Pera has been distant from Memphis over the last year, and has excluded minority owners from any meaningful participation in team decision-making, which is his right as controlling owner. Kaplan is worried that the market for his minority interest will dry up once potential buyers complete their due diligence on Pera’s ownership techniques, sources said.
In the past few days, there has been a sort of dunk-off going around the NBA among owners and coaches. On Sunday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens threw down a dunk with the help of a trampoline. On Monday night, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer also slammed in a trampoline dunk during halftime. Now, on Tuesday, Grizzlies owner Robert Pera posted his own dunk video sans trampoline.
Other NBA owners on the list include the Brooklyn Nets’ Mikhail Prokhorov ($7.6B), Miami Heat owner Micky Arison ($7.1B), New York Knicks owner Charles Dolan ($5B), Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers ($4.9B), Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos ($4.7B), Tom Gores from the Detroit Pistons ($3.3B), Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban ($3.3B), Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon ($2.8B), New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson ($2.2B), Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera ($2B), Glen Taylor from the Minnesota Timberwolves ($1.8B), Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry ($1.7B), Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander ($1.5B), Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller ($1.4B), Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf ($1.3B), former Bulls player and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan ($1.1B) and Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler ($1.1B).
And so, on Friday night, Lasry will get his wish and suit up for Team USA for the annual celebrity game (7 p.m. ET, ESPN) in Toronto. Last year, Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera played in the exhibition and impressed, making 5 of 6 shots and even throwing down a dunk in warm-ups. Pera, though, was 36 at the time. Lasry is 55. Pera is also very dedicated to basketball, having an indoor replica of the Grizzlies floor installed at a gym attached to his house. Lasry plays tennis three times a week but only plays pick-up basketball once a month or so.