RoySJ Update: A Memphis newspaper is reporting that Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is taking steps to extricate himself from an agreement to sell a majority stake in the team to Brian Davis and his investment group. In reality, Davis ahs made this bed by seemingly not coming up with the goods. Davis’s group (which includes former NBA center and fellow Dukie Christian Laettner) has until January 15 to comply with the agreement, but Heisley’s “notice of termination” points the group on notice. They would have an additional 30 days to comply with the terms of the agreement or the deal is off. At the crux if the issues, not surprisingly, is cash. Under terms required to become the team’s managing partner, as is his desire, Davis personally must put up 15% of the franchise valaue in cash, none of it borrowed. With the vaulation set at $360 million hat would require Davis, a real estate investor, to put up between $31-$36 million. He has reportedly put about $1 million in escrow, much of it he could lose it the deal falters, the paper reported. A few weeks ago the NBA said Davis and his goup had not provided the league with enough information in order for it to review his application for ownership. This is taking a slow, sad death.
Did Brian Davis speak too soon? On Tuesday night, NBA President Joel Litvin issued a statement that seemed to essentially tell BD and his group to BACK DOWN regarding their purchase of a majority share of the Memphis Grizzlies: “Among other things, and despite numerous requests from the NBA, we have not been provided with important information about other potential investors, including the sources and amounts of funding that they would supply. In addition, based on the limited information that we have received, it appears that certain elements of the transaction would not comply with NBA rules. As a result, and contrary to their public statements, the NBA is not taking any action at this point with respect to the proposed transaction.”
Certain elements? Seems like the statement was prompted by Davis’s earlier coments that the NBA would rule on the groups $252 million proposal by the end of the year. Ain’t happenin’.
Davis, a fomer NBA player, has said he will invest $40 million to $55 million to become controlling partner of the franchise. The NBA needs to know where the rest of the money is coming from, and so far Davis and Chrisitian Laettner, another former NBA player and primary investor haven’t been forthcoming.
Let’s hope BD and his Crew don’t join Reggie Fowler (below) in The Black Sports Ownership Hall of Shame. You may recall Fowler is the millionair businessman who offered to buy the Minnesota Vikings last summer for around $600 million but then couldn’t come up with the money.