Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NBA [Print without images]

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Owners approve sale of Grizzlies

By Brian Windhorst
ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- NBA owners unanimously approved the sale of the Memphis Grizzlies to California businessman Robert Pera during an NBA Board of Governors meeting Thursday.

Pera, who reached a deal to buy the Grizzlies from Michael Heisley in June, put together an ownership group with local Memphis businesses and athletes with ties to Tennessee, including Peyton Manning and Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway.

The deal will ensure the Grizzlies, whom Heisley moved to Memphis from Vancouver after he bought the team 12 years ago, will remain in Memphis. The Grizzlies have a lease at the FedExForum through 2021.

"We are delighted that the NBA's Board of Governors has approved Robert Pera's purchase of the Grizzlies," NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement. "Robert will no doubt bring great energy and passion to the franchise. He has assembled an ownership group with very strong local ties, and we anticipate that their commitment to the Memphis area will greatly benefit both the team and the community."

In another move, the board elected San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt as chairman of the board of governors. Holt was the head of the owners' labor relations committee during the collective bargaining agreement last year. He immediately replaces Minnesota Timberwolves over Glen Taylor, who had been the chairman since 2008.