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Volume 24 No. 117
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NBA BOG Approves Grizzlies Sale To Pera; $350M Deal Expected To Close Soon

The NBA on Thursday approved Robert Pera's bid to buy the Grizzlies and "cleared the way for the 34-year-old" to become the second owner in franchise history, according to Kyle Veazey of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Pera still must "close the $350 million deal with current owner Michael Heisley." The Grizzlies in a statement said that the closing of the deal "is expected to take place shortly." The NBA's approval was viewed "as the most significant hurdle for Pera's bid." Pera is "not expected to speak publicly about the purchase until after the deal closes." Spurs Owner Peter Holt said that he met Pera for the first time Wednesday and "asked him why he wanted to get into the basketball business." Holt said that Pera "responded by saying it has always been a love of his." Holt said, "The reason I brought the question up was, he's going into a business that has its ups and downs, obviously, like all businesses. And I said if there isn't a real love in your heart, not just your head, for it, then it's just not going to be a lot of fun. Because it's a tough business, it's a tough business" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/26).

MYSTERY MAN: In Memphis, Ronald Tillery notes NBA Commissioner David Stern "will be in FedExForum on Nov. 5 for the Grizzlies' home opener against the Utah Jazz" where "presumably, he'll introduce Pera to Memphis." Players and coaches "reacted Thursday with cautious optimism." Pera "remains a mystery, except for his age (34) and primary business interest (Ubiquiti Networks)." The hope of "FedExForum employees responsible for Griz wins and losses is that their new boss doesn't see the need for major modifications" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/26).

STAYING PUT: In Memphis, Geoff Calkins writes, "You know the really wonderful thing about the moment? You don't hear a single thing about the team being moved." It is "not even part of the conversation." Calkins: "This, ladies and gentlemen, is something to celebrate" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/26).

MEETING POINT: The Grizzlies and FedExForum on Thursday announced a partnership with Charles Vergos' Rendezvous to be the official provider of Memphis barbecue for all FedExForum events. Rendezvous will have five locations throughout the arena and will have its grand opening Nov. 5 (THE DAILY).