According to ESPN's Marc Stein
, owner Michael Heisley has finally found a suitor to buy the Memphis Grizzlies. It will be 34-year-old billionaire Robert Pera.
Pera works with communications and technology and ranks in the Top 10 on Forbes
as the youngest billionaires.
The Grizzlies have made the playoffs for two years in a row and could be a legit Finals-contender. With that, the Grizzlies have started to gain interest.
Heisley has found some buyers, but only to those who won't relocate the team. Pera says he won't move the Grizzlies out of Memphis. The purchase of the team is believed to be in the range of $350 million. The announcement of this deal is expected sometime around this week, along with the NBA Board of Governers approving it.
Pera will be the new successor to Heisley, who recently turned 75-years-old.
This deal happens after six years ago when Heisley tried to sell 70 percent of his stake in the team to two former Duke players, Christian Laettner and Brian Davis. However, the deal fell through after Heisley sent Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers in February 2008.
Pera, who lives in Northern California, says he is a big basketball fan and was one of the more serious bidders that Heisley saw. Pera used to be an engineer for Apple before leaving when he was 25 to start his own company.
"Today Pera owns a reported 64 percent of the Ubiquiti Networks he founded and operates the company out of Taiwan as well as San Jose. Pera speaks Chinese and Japanese and is said to play basketball four to five times per week," writes Stein.
Pera was also reported to be seen at one of the Grizzlies games in March, touring the facilities and operations. So it seemed Pera was interested for a long time as both sides were working towards a deal.
Congrats to Pera for purchasing the team. We'll see what he does for the team . Josh Dhani is the founder of FootBasket. He is also the editor of The Dugout Doctors and contributes at Hoops Authority and Eight Points Nine Seconds. You can read more about him at his website. Follow him on Twitter @joshdhani.