Grizzlies Update: Davis Yet To Meet League’s Standards

The Memphis Grizzlies are remaining in last place with a record of 5-13 in the Southwest Standings, leaving them with a low .278 percentage.

The Memphis Grizzlies are remaining in last place with a record of 5-13 in the Southwest Standings, leaving them with a low .278 percentage. With all the hype surrounding the team on their latest issue of landing an owner, this has their supporters on the edge of their seats in hopes of a victory, and soon.

A New York Ticker reports the latest news on the alleged proposal of former NBA star Brian Davis, along with other interested parties. Below, you’ll find a release from the Official NBA website:

The proposed purchase of the Memphis Grizzlies by an investment group headed by former NBA player Brian Davis has yet to meet standards imposed by the league.

NBA president of league and basketball operations Joel Litvin said in a statement Tuesday that NBA officials had not received “sufficient information to conduct our review.”

The statement said Davis, whose investment group includes former Duke University teammate and NBA All-Star Christian Laettner, had not complied with “numerous requests” to provide the league with “important information about other potential investors, including the sources and amounts of funding that they would supply.”

A league rule mandates that the primary or controlling owner must invest at least 15 percent of the purchase price. On October 2, Davis agreed to purchase current owner Michael Heisley’s 70 percent stake in Hoops, LP, the parent company of the Grizzlies and operator of the FedExForum.

According to a report on the web site of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the estimated sale price for the Grizzlies is $360 million, which means the commitment from Davis’ investment group would be $252 million.

The report said Davis’ group, known as Grizzly Acquisition Holdings, LLC, had just $1 million in escrow but would add to that amount before the league completed its approval process.

However, Litvin indicated that the NBA had no plans to begin that process, based on the data it had yet to receive from the group.

“Based on the limited information that we have received, it appears that certain elements of the transaction would not comply with NBA rules,” Litvin said. “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.”

The Commercial Appeal report quoted Heisley as saying his agreement with Davis has a deadline of January 15. Should Davis not meet that deadline, it could cost him and his group millions of dollars, the report said.

After Heisley entered into the agreement with Davis, the local owners of the remaining 30 percent of the team – a group that includes former Memphis University star and NBA player Elliot Perry – had 60 days to match the terms of the agreement and purchase the team. That deadline passed Friday.

Heisley told the Commercial Appeal that he has not spoken with Davis since they jointly announced the agreement. At the time, Davis alienated team officials when he presented the idea of Laettner possibly resuming his NBA career with the Grizzlies.

Davis, 36, is a managing partner of Blue Devil Ventures, an urban community development company in Durham, North Carolina. Laettner is a partner in the group.

At the time of the agreement, Davis said he would be moving his family to Memphis, perhaps because that is much less prohibitive than moving the Grizzlies, who already are in their second city.

The contract between the city of Memphis, Shelby County and the team signed in 2004 reportedly prohibits the franchise from moving for 10 years and calls for significant penalties on a sliding, decreasing scale thereafter.

A billionaire based in Chicago and listed among Forbes magazine’s 400 richest Americans, Heisley bought the Vancouver Grizzlies for $160 million in 2000 and moved the team to Memphis a year later.

Despite three straight postseason appearances and a new arena that opened two years ago, the team reportedly had lost over $40 million. They were 26th in the NBA in attendance last season and are 24th this season at 15,448 per game.

This season’s attendance issues can be partially attributed to poor play. Without injured All-Star forward Pau Gasol, the Grizzlies are just 4-13, the worst record in the Western Conference.

Other bottom-line factors have been low broadcast revenue, operating losses in managing the FedExForum and a growing payroll.

On Wednesday, December 6, Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay helped them grab a 98-96 win over the Boston Celtics.

The next game scheduled for the Grizzlies will be on Saturday, December 9, when the Grizzlies will welcome the LA Clippers.

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