SBD/Issue 141/Franchises

Michael Heisley Sets May 1 Deadline To Sell Grizzlies

Heisley Sets May 1 Deadline To
Reach Deal To Sell Grizzlies

Grizzlies Majority Owner Michael Heisley last night indicated that the Grizzlies “would no longer be for sale as of May 1,” according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Heisley said, “If the team isn’t sold by May 1, I’m taking the team off the market. I’m a little worn out. I’m going to get re-involved and run the team. ... I’ve gone through this effort now for a year and there’s been no successful conclusion.” Tillery notes Heisley owns 70% of the team and has sought to sell his shares for $252M to a group led by real estate developer and former NBAer Brian Davis. After “acknowledging that he’s negotiated with at least three groups, Heisley also said he has yet to receive an offer from the local, limited partners.” Heisley: “I still truly believe that Memphis deserves to have an owner who lives here and is really involved — someone like [Mavericks Owner] Mark Cuban that would energize the situation.”

OTHER ISSUES: Heisley also said that Grizzlies President of Basketball Operations Jerry West will “work through the draft and that no decision has been made about whether West would continue in his current role past June 30.” Additionally, Heisley “intends to curb spending and operate with a payroll that’s significantly less” than the $60M-plus the team has spent annually. He said, “We’re going to be much more conscious of how much we spend on salary” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 4/17).

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