Robert Pera Rumors
Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera emerged Tuesday in FedExForum after being disconnected from Memphis for more than a year. He met with general manager Chris Wallace and other members of the front office as they prepare for the June 21 NBA draft. The Grizzlies own the No. 4and No. 32 picks. Pera didn’t address local media and declined numerous requests.
Pera is optimistic that the franchise can bounce back after having its seven-year playoff run end abruptly. “Assuming Marc (Gasol) and Mike (Conley) come back healthy, I think we have a couple of surrounding pieces that are younger players that are going to make a positive impact,” Pera told the media outlet he employs. “We’ll get another good player in this draft. I see no reason why we can’t return to being a 50-win plus team.”
Michael Wallace: Pera on his commitment to keep Grizzlies in Memphis: “The team will be here longterm … it’s a good challenge we have (to make) every year a sellout, to keep getting more involved in community … I wouldn’t want anything (to do with) a relocation.”
Fizdale tried to fix things with Gasol, even flying to Europe after the season to try and make it right. But Gasol was close with majority owner Robert Pera; Fizdale wasn’t. That closed off a potential area of outreach between the two. Gasol had no interest in rapprochement, a stance that Grizzlies players made clear to Fizdale throughout the season. (Caught most in the middle, per league sources, was Grizzlies veteran point guard Mike Conley, Jr., who did and does have strong relationships with both men.)
But, importantly, in his discussions with the Knicks, Fizdale took responsibility for his failures with Gasol. He didn’t blame Gasol or anyone else. As one of his chief calling cards is connecting with players, and not finding common ground with Gasol was an L he has to take. “He knew where he messed up and what he’d try to let it never happen again,” said a source who’s spoken with Fizdale since his firing.
Geoff Calkins: Reminder about the Grizzlies: They are bound to Memphis by all sorts agreements through 2027. And the new transaction may well have involved additional money by Memphis investors and additional safeguards being put in place.