With a young new owner, a star-studded list of minority owners and a roster of venerable veterans, the Memphis Grizzlies are poised to roar in the 2012- 2013 season.
Silicon Valley entreprenuer Robert Pera, just 34 years old, is now the majority owner of the NBA franchise – just the second majority owner after Michael Heisley, from whom Pera and a group of local and minority investors bought the team. When an NBA franchise changes hands, locals always worry, but in Memphis' case, the change of ownership looks to be rock solid, with a local bigwig and celebrity-studded cast of minority owners: AutoZone founder and Memphis native J. R. "Pitt" Hyde, investor Edward Dobbs, pop superstar and Millington native Justin Timberlake, former University of Memphis and NBA standout Penny Hardaway and Memphis native Ashley Manning and hubby Peyton, the NFL quarterback.
The Grizz is know for its 'grit and grind' - meaning Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay, Tony Allen and the rest of the team play hard, with loads of pressure on the ball and an inside-out offense. The result is an all-out assault on the court that's entertaining to watch. The Grizz have made it to the playoffs twice in the last two years, showing fans and the rest of the league alike that they've got what it takes to be major contenders.
This season, look for more flash on the floor as the elusive Pera, along with Justin, Peyton and other owners are expected to be in the house frequently. And look for more seats to be filled as well.