Michael Heisley Rumors
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sent his regards after learning of the death of former Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley. “I miss Michael,” Cuban said. “He was incredibly supportive of me.” Heisley died Saturday at the age of 77 from complications of a stroke he had last year. Heisley and Cuban had formed a special friendship all the way back to when they both officially collected their NBA ownership papers in New York during a ceremony held on Apr. 11, 2000. “He made basketball in Memphis work,” Cuban said. “He did so many things for people without anyone ever knowing. “He was a special man and will be missed by all that knew him.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed Heisley’s death before the game. “Michael was responsible for moving the Grizzlies from Vancouver to Memphis and really for getting (FedExForum, the Grizzlies’ home arena) built as well as a longtime friend of the league,” Silver said. “He was a wonderful owner, a terrific friend, and I want to send my deepest condolences to his wife, Agnes, to his children and all his friends.” Heisley was instrumental in getting the Grizzlies active in the community, forming the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Among its projects, the foundation helped build the Memphis Grizzlies House, a temporary on-campus residence for families with children being treated at the hospital, according to the media guide.
Michael Heisley, the billionaire businessman who bought the Vancouver Grizzlies and moved the NBA team to Memphis, died Saturday. He was 77. The Grizzlies said Saturday night that a family member confirmed Heisley’s death. The Commercial Appeal reported that Heisley died in Illinois of complications from a massive stroke he suffered nearly 15 months ago. Heisley sold the team to Robert Pera before the start of the 2012-13 season.
Ronald Tillery: Extremely sad to say that former Griz owner Mike Heisley passed away this afternoon. Heisley suffered a stroke Feb 2013. CA story coming…
Most Griz fans probably are not familiar with Dave Mincberg. He began the ownership/management transition — alongside former agents Jason Levien and Stu Lash, and ESPN writer John Hollinger — as the team’s lead attorney much like Stan Meadows was to former owner Michael Heisley. Now, there are rumblings that Mincberg’s role has been greatly reduced as Levien deals with his first internal snag. I’m hearing that Mincberg ruffled feathers with his unwanted ambition that included a desire to effectively become the team’s general manager.
Sources say Wallace, whose role in Memphis has diminished over the course of the season after the transfer of ownership with the Grizzlies from Michael Heisley to Robert Pera, has received strong backing in Sacramento’s GM search from fellow West Virginia native Jerry West. The legendary former player and executive currently serves as a Warriors consultant and has been counseling Ranadive on his early moves with the Kings.
Sources indicate Taylor was also approached by former Memphis owner Michael Heisley, St. Louis businessman Dr. Richard Chaifetz and a group led by former coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. But none expressed a strong desire to keep the team in Minnesota long-term, sources said.
Kohl, who purchased the Bucks in 1985 from Jim Fitzgerald for approximately $19 million, is apparently still receptive to bringing on an additional business partner. The possibility of the 76-year-old Heisley re-entering the Bucks’ picture is highly unlikely. Heisley suffered a debilitating stroke in February and remains in a Chicago-area hospital. I’ve been told he’s been in a coma for more than a month and the prospects of a recovery are extremely bleak.
“I’m speechless. This really bothers me,” said All-Star forward Zach Randolph, who visited with Heisley in Houston. “He’s a good guy and a man of his word. He took care of us and believed in us. I’m praying for him.” Griz coach Lionel Hollins broke the news to the team Saturday afternoon after a practice in FedExForum. The Griz then left to board a flight for Brooklyn, where they will play the Nets on Sunday night in the new Barclays Center. “It’s sad,” Hollins said. “I send my prayers out to the family. Mike Heisley has been good to me. It’s sad to see this happen and for him to be in this situation. We’ll continue to pray for him and wish him a speedy recovery.”
Former Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is hospitalized in a Chicago-area hospital after recently suffering a stroke. Heisley was stricken last weekend soon after returning home from Houston, where he attended the NBA All-Star game. “The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers,” Heisley’s wife, Agnes, said Saturday in a statement that requested respect for the family’s privacy.
Yet while it has been reported that Gay was happy to get out of Memphis, he said both that and the idea that he definitely wouldn’t re-sign with the Grizzlies wasn’t true. “It was a total shock to me,” he said of the trade. “I never went to any of (the new management) and told them that I wanted to be traded. I’ve never done that. The summer before, I did. I said this team has a chance to be a competitor in the West, and we’re going to be good, but if you plan on doing anything – this is the summer before – I said I want to express to you that I may be wanting to move on. “And this was with Chris Wallace (the general manager who remains but who is no longer involved like he was under former owner Michael Heisley) … I wanted to see it through, because we started so well. We were playing so great as a team, it kind of made me feel like this is it. This could be the chance for us. There’s not too many times when you can build a team like that. Obviously financial stuff goes on, but when you build a team like that you have to see it through.”
Word is interest in buying the Wolves is as high as ever. One potential buyer is former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley. Multiple sources insist that he’s kicking the tires. Before any transaction occurs, the Target Center renovation plans need to be finalized. The Wolves and Minneapolis officials were scheduled to meet on Wednesday.
It’s obvious Heisley enjoyed NBA ownership, but why does he want back in after recently selling? “If you look at my business record, I basically love to do turn-arounds. That’s where I made all of my money,” Heisley said. “I made my money turning around distressed or bankrupt companies. I did 50-some of them in my career. … I started on a shoestring and eventually built up quite a fortune. “I tremendously enjoy getting involved in a troubled situation and straightening it out. … My interest would be if there was a situation that came up and I thought I could do something with and the price was right, I would be interested.”
Former Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley remains intrigued by the idea of one day owning an NBA team again. “I have expressed some interest, maybe, of getting back in the league, depending on the situation. Obviously, that’s important,” Heisley told USA TODAY Sports Thursday. “Yeah, I would be interested in getting back. Right now, I don’t have any ongoing, definitive conversations with anybody who might be currently selling their team. “At least some people around the NBA know I am interested. (NBA Commissioner) David Stern called me and asked if that was the case, and told him, ‘Yeah.’ ”
But when recently asked about buyging the Bucks, Heisley said, “It’s a false rumor.” Some Heisley associates said Heisley has deep concerns about the viability of the Bradley Center, which opened in 1988. Additionally, I was told Heisley had inquired about the availability of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
But the chatter among NBA insiders has intensified in recent months with many believing Kohl could sell the team outright or bring on board a partner who would eventually become the Bucks’ primary owner. One well connected individual who has his finger on the pulse of the Bucks’ ownership situation insisted just a few weeks ago that Kohl would sell his NBA franchise, which he has owned since March 1985, to Michael Heisley, a billionaire from Chicago.
Former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley said he isn’t trying to buy the Milwaukee Bucks amid constant speculation to the contrary. “It’s a false rumor,” Heisley said.
With Memphis off to a fast start, former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley has been telling team execs that he wishes he hadn’t sold the team, after all. It’s not just that the Grizzlies look like they have one of the top teams in the West. Heisley has shed almost 80 pounds in recent months and has found himself getting around with renewed energy.
We haven’t necessarily seen the last of former Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley. Not if you buy what’s circulating with increasing volume about Heisley’s interest in eventually buying the Milwaukee Bucks from Herb Kohl. Sale speculation about the Bucks has been a staple for years, but the latest scenario has the Chicago-based Heisley making a serious bid to buy the franchise if Sen. Kohl can secure the new building (or Bradley Center refurbishment) that would cement the team’s future in Wisconsin.
Franchises are also allowed up to $50 million in financing provided outside of the NBA’s facility. The financing is a significant chunk of the purchase, but it isn’t known precisely how the rest of the equity is divvied up since Pera’s group has said it would not disclose ownership percentages. As controlling owner and chairman, Pera is the largest shareholder. Sources told The Commercial Appeal last month that Pera will own less than 50 percent of the franchise; league rules require controlling owners to own at least 15 percent. Twenty-four people or entities are listed as partners.
The Pera-led group closed on the $377 million purchase of the franchise from Michael Heisley late last month. A source told The Commercial Appeal Monday night that the group used $125 million available to NBA teams through the league’s credit facility and another $50 million in bank financing to close the deal. But that’s nothing new in the NBA. Nineteen of the league’s 30 teams use the league’s $2.3 billion credit facility, and many use it to the $125 million per-franchise maximum. The facility is a pool of money banks provide through the league and offer at lower rates because of the NBA’s credit worthiness and other guaranteed future revenue factors such as its long-term television deal.
To some, the $175 million in debt that Robert Pera’s ownership group took on to help its purchase of the Memphis Grizzlies may be eye-opening. But not in the world of the NBA, one of its executives said Wednesday. “There is nothing unusual about the financing to acquire the Grizzlies,” said Rob Friedrich, a vice president of the NBA and the league’s general counsel. “It is standard in the context of team acquisitions and fully compliant with the NBA’s debt policies. The financial wherewithal of Robert Pera and this ownership group is very strong and the team remains on a very solid financial footing.”
An introductory media conference will be held at 10 a.m. this coming Monday, November 5. Pera and members of the new ownership group will be on hand for their first event at FedExForum to tip-off a new era in Memphis Grizzlies basketball and both media and the general public are invited to attend. For those members of Grizz Nation unable to attend in person, the press conference will be streamed in its entirety online at grizzlies.com.
The Memphis Grizzlies have changed owners officially, and the new bosses want to make clear their commitment to staying in Tennessee very clear. “The Grizzlies are here to stay in Memphis,” new Grizzlies chairman Robert J. Pera said. The Grizzlies announced Wednesday that the reported $377 million sale by Michael Heisley had been finalized to a group led by Pera, a former Apple engineer who founded the communications technology company Ubiquiti Networks. The group includes local businessmen, entertainer Justin Timberlake, Memphis native and former NBA player Penny Hardaway, a former U.S. congressman and Ashley Manning, wife of four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning.
Robert Pera is officially the Grizzlies’ majority owner. The 34-year-old Silicon Valley wireless technology entrepreneur on Monday afternoon closed his deal to buy the NBA franchise from Michael Heisley, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. Pera’s purchase price was recorded at $377 million in documents presented last week to the NBA Board of Governors, a source said. The league voted unanimously to approve transfer of ownership to Pera’s group during its meeting last Thursday. Pera becomes just the second owner of Memphis’s major league sports franchise on the eve of its 12th season in the Bluff City.
$377,000,000 — Final sales price, per sources, of the Memphis Grizzlies from former owner Michael Heisley to a group led by wireless technology entrepreneur Robert Pera. There had been questions about Pera’s financial stake after his Ubiquiti Networks wireless equipment supply company reportedly lost tens of millions of dollars in value in recent months, but Pera bolstered his group — which includes minority ownership stakes by Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, ex-NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway and former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. — with two substantial minority partners who each put up more than $25 million in cash, according to a source.