New Grizzlies Owner Betting on Memphis
Except, he (Robert Pera) did it. He didn’t technically extend the lease, but he bolstered it. He stapled himself to the city for 15 years, minimum. He threw in with Memphis. He gave away his leverage.
In exchange, he appears to have gained something (Michael) Heisley never had in more than a decade in Memphis: real, committed, enthusiastic partners.
This isn’t going to be another column clobbering Heisley, by the way. There’s no point in it, for one thing. Beyond that, he’ll always be the owner who brought the Grizzlies to Memphis. He gave this city a playoff ride many never dared imagine.
Pera may or may not be a good owner over the long haul. We have no way of knowing, at this point. But it’s striking, the way he has gone about his business so far, and the way it differs from Heisley.