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Robert Pera to Maintain Majority Interest in Memphis Grizzlies Franchise

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

MEMPHIS, TN - AUGUST 1: Robert J. Pera of the Memphis Grizzlies addresses the media during a press conference introducing front office additions on August 1, 2014 at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Robert Pera plans to remain the majority owner of the Memphis Grizzlies and has informed the NBA of his decision, the team announced Monday. 

Turner Sports analyst David Aldridge shared an email Pera had written to season ticket holders confirming hid decision:

David Aldridge @daldridgetnt

Memphis owner @RobertPera informed Grizzlies season ticket holders about half an hour ago via e-mail that he will retain control of the team: https://t.co/13ahmPg3JK

ESPN's Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst first reported in March 2016 there was a special clause in the agreement between Pera and minority owners Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus. By triggering the clause, Kaplan and Straus would force Pera to either buy out their shares at market value and take a controlling stake in the team or sell off his stake to Kaplan and Straus.

The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported Kaplan and Straus exercised the clause, which gave Pera a deadline by which he had to decide on his future as an owner of the Grizzlies.

On Tuesday, Lowe reported the deal values the franchise between $1.3 and 1.4 billion.

The fact that Pera announced his decision at least ends what had been an ongoing story throughout an underwhelming 2017-18 season for the team. Yahoo Sports' Chris Mannix highlighted another important part of Pera's statement:

Chris Mannix @ChrisMannixYS

Key graph in that statement is Pera affirms his intention to keep the team in Memphis. Threat of a move to Seattle--which expects to have a refurbished Key Arena by 2020--has generated league-wide chatter.

The Washington Post's Tim Bontemps, however, didn't eliminate the possibility Pera would put the Grizzlies up for sale:

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps

Word around the league for weeks now had been that Pera would remain in charge in Memphis. Now we’ll see how this impacts potential changes moving forward — and if Pera considers selling now that he has controlling interest. https://t.co/I0GGWo7Gx3

Krawczynski also noted Pera has been far from an ideal owner, describing him as "a shadowy figure" who is "almost never in Memphis to attend games." Pera didn't get along with former head coach Dave Joerger, either, which led Joerger to work his way out of the organization after he took the team to the playoffs three straight years.

But having one clear power structure in place at least represents progress for the Grizzlies after the general doubt the dynamic between Pera, Kaplan and Straus had created behind the scenes.

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