Michael Heisley Rumors
The clause in the agreement, which was first reported by ESPN, was born of Pera’s tenuous acquisition of the team from previous owner Michael Heisley in 2012. During that process, the value of Pera’s technology company, Ubiquiti Networks, took a sharp plunge, forcing him to bring on Kaplan and Straus as partners with 13.5 percent equity and give a number of owners with Memphis ties, including Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake, smaller pieces of the pie to be able to close the deal.
A month later, Wallace traveled to Girona to meet with Marc and his parents, both. At the same time, Wallace was negotiating with his team’s owner, the late Michael Heisley, on a potential salary offer for the younger Gasol. The currency imbalance between the dollar and the euro in 2008 mitigated any commanding financial advantage Memphis would have held over powerhouse clubs like F.C. Barcelona. Wallace, then, had to convince Heisley of the value in giving the No. 48 pick in the draft a three-year deal worth more than $10 million. Deliberation dragged on both sides and within 48 hours of Gasol’s decision deadline, Heisley remained unconvinced. So he called Pau.
The elder Gasol’s message was simple and direct: Mr. Heisley, my brother could be better than I am. Memphis made its move, and the history of the Grizzlies was re-written in that moment. “I don’t know that we would’ve gotten this deal done if he had not gotten that assurance from Pau,” Wallace said.
As the courses flow, the Gasols discuss their health, their lives, and their foundation. Their rhythm feels easy and lived-in. Noticeably absent from their conversations, however, is the sport they have in common. For two professionals who spend an incredible amount of their time preparing for, learning about, and actually playing basketball, Pau and Marc devote precious little space to the game when they have an opportunity to reconnect. “For as much respect and love as we have for this game, there are other things things in our lives that are important to us, too,” Marc said. “We both understand that life is much bigger than basketball.”
Within it, the Gasols find peace. They find the means to separate and prioritize what matters most, even as they both navigate the world on their own terms. A shared sensibility works as a bridge between two brothers who can’t help but distinguish themselves. “It’s always the case where it’s like the older sibling is the more poised, responsible, less adventurous one, you know what I mean?” Kobe Bryant said. “If they’re standing there on a cliff and they’re getting ready to bungee jump, Pau might ask how the bungee jump works. ’Is it completely safe?’ And Marc, being the younger one, would just jump.”
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.”