Grizzlies: Too Much Talk, Not Enough $?

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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.


5 thoughts on “Grizzlies: Too Much Talk, Not Enough $?

  1. Juan says:

    That is a thinly veiled statement from the NBA that says everything and nothing at all. It really just should just say the way the column ends, “you need to get your act together!”

    Whatever they do, I hope they don’t change the unis wen they take over.. because those things are nice.

    And can we get Bob Johnson in Charlotte to change the uniforms because they are hideous? And maybe to get them to change the team name so they don’t have his name on them? (one of the most arrogant things in sports, next to Jack Kent Cooke naming a city after his kids)

  2. Speaking of Bob Johnson, I predicted that he’d run the Bobcats just like he ran BET: keep it cheap and low quality, build equity so that when it’s time to sell (or the fans are beating a war path to your door for more investment in the product), you make a profit. Basically, Clippers East. ANNND, what do we have? A 5-13 last place team, with a couple of pretty good players, in a market that likes basketball but will start to tank fast as the honeymoon starts to fade. I’ve got $20 on the table saying Johnson will sell in three years, probably to Jordan.

  3. Juan says:

    That is a good call. I can’t blame Bob, but I can’t take that team seriosuly with those colors. It just reeks of cheap. The whole thing smells cheap.

    I think you are right Lawrence, everything I heard about him (Robert Johnson) is that he is going to pinch every penny.

    Speaking of the Clippers, that used to be my favorite team as a kid in Southern California (trust me I was the only one rocking the red Starter Clippers jacket and hat and rooting on Ron Harper), but I can’t root for them now that Donald Sterling has made outrageous comments about some of his minority tenants. Check those out. Some of the comments he made were horrible. Sad, but I refuse to give him another dime.

  4. Juan, who are these Clippers that you speak of? lol I grew up in Inglewood, down the street from the only team in Los Angeles.

  5. Juan says:

    Inglewood-City of Champions.

    My point exactly.

    I enjoyed watching Worthy, Magic, Byron, et al, but I grew up in San Diego where the Clippers played in the world’s worst arena, moved to LA, and I moved to the LA area. Had to stay loyal to my team with San Diego roots.

    Benoit Benjamin, Olden Polynice, Ron Harper, no match for those talented Lakers teams.

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