Basically, Michael Heisley has promised not to be Howard Schultz.
Reports had surfaced that billionaire Larry Ellison is sniffing around the Memphis Grizzlies, looking to buy them. Which scared Grizzlies fans because Ellison has been looking for a team to move to San Jose.
There’s a few reasons that is not going to happen, but now among them is Grizzlies owner Heisley telling the Commercial Appeal that he is not going to sell the team to someone who plans to move it. That starts with Ellison.
“We’re not even considering Ellison,” Heisley said. “This team cannot be moved.”
The Grizzlies lease with Memphis for the FedEx Forum has some financial penalties if a team pulls up stakes, plus it leaves the owner open to painful and likely successful litigation if he (or she) tried to move the team before 2021.
Heisley is willing to sell the team, with a reported asking price of $350 million.
Heisley acknowledged that there is one other person looking at the prospect of buying the team, but he expressed skepticism.
“I don’t know if he’s serious,” said Heisley, a 75-year-old, Chicago-based billionaire. “I think I’ll own the team for a while.”
Now, if I were an owner trying to spur more local corporate sponsorship and ticket sales I would need to put a winner out on the court — the Grizzlies are considered one of the better young teams in the game — then I would threaten a sale or move of the team. To see if that would spark local action — which in Memphis it has.
I’m not saying 75-year-old Heisley has just threatened to sell the team only in hopes of driving up ticket sales. I’m just saying if one wanted to drive up ticket sales that would be one way. Decide for yourself what is going on.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.