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NBA Board of Governors Officially Approves Sale of Memphis Grizzlies

PHOENIX - DECEMBER 08:  Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts with Xavier Henry #13 after Gay hit the game tying three point shot against the Phoenix Suns at the end of regulation in the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 8, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Grizzlies defeated the Suns 104-98 in overtime.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2012

The NBA Board of Governors has unanimously approved the sale of the Memphis Grizzlies to Robert Pera's group, according to Kyle Veazey of the Commercial Appeal.

Getting the stamp of approval was one of the final steps in finalizing Pera's purchase of the team. He still must finish the agreement with current owner Michael Heisley, which could happen within a couple days, based on the report.

Pera put together a superstar group of investment partners to buy the Grizzlies. The list of well-known individuals includes Justin Timberlake, Penny Hardaway, Peyton Manning and his wife Ashley, among others. The group's purchase price is reportedly around $350 million.

The 34-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. would be taking over for Heisley, who is 75. Heisley took control of the team just over a decade ago and proceeded to oversee the team's move to Memphis.

News of the approval comes less than a week before the start of the new NBA season. The sale will bring some added attention to a Grizzlies squad with its sights set on the playoffs. Even the players are getting caught up in the excitement.

Marc Stein of ESPN passed along a quote from point guard Mike Conley Jr. prior to today's announcement.

"We've heard a lot of good things about him and his intentions are all good," Grizzlies guard Mike Conley Jr. said earlier this month of Pera. "I know the city of Memphis should be excited. As a team, we are excited. It's going to be a different expectation for us, and we're just looking forward to taking it on."

The Grizzles have a strong base which includes Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Conley. Hopes will be high that the new ownership group will be able to step in and help transform the team into a contender in the coming years.

It will be interesting to see how Pera, who is young by professional sports ownership standards, handles his new role with the Grizzlies. Some owners like to be hands-on while others take a more laid back approach.

One thing is for sure: Expectations are high. 

 

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