Memphis Grizzlies can learn from Mavericks-Warriors NBA playoff series

After 10 years, Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera better than unknown

Hard as he tried, Michael Heisley couldn’t avoid a few foreboding words the day he sold the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We can’t make someone stay here forever,” he was quoted as saying on June 11, 2012.

But we can at least make him stay here for a decade. And counting.

Saturday marks the 10-year anniversary of when news broke that Robert Pera had agreed to purchase the Grizzlies for $377 million. It was a good investment. The franchise, despite being the least valuable in the NBA, is currently worth $1.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Back in 2012, Pera was a relatively unknown 34-year-old who Forbes had just hailed as Silicon Valley’s newest billionaire. Today, he is a relatively unknown 44-year-old who Forbes recently hailed as one of the 10 richest owners in all of sports.

Pera has been an adequate steward of the city’s only major professional team, with initial growing pains followed by some increasingly positive trends and returns of late.

“I look forward to getting to know the Memphis community,” Pera said in a statement exactly 10 years ago, and if that’s the case, he has largely done so privately and from afar.

Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera.

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He’s rarely in Memphis and his public appearances and comments have been few and far between, especially in recent years. Fairly or not, it leads to speculation about his plans for the future.

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