MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The deadline passed Monday for a potential
ownership group led by two former Duke players to purchase control
of the Memphis Grizzlies, and Michael Heisley, the team's majority
owner, said he's open to other offers.
"I'm in the deal business. I can't tell you how many times people enter into a deal, and then are not able to perform on that deal. It's very, very common. "
-- Michael Heisley, Grizzlies majority owner
The failure of Brian Davis and Christian Laettner to meet the
deadline was not a surprise. The group's offer seemed to be in
trouble weeks ago. Heisley said in a press conference before Monday
night's game between the Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns that he
had not talked to Davis, the group's leader, but Heisley was
already aware the deal would not be finalized in time.
"We had conversations with them in the past week or so, and we
understood they would not be able to meet the deadline," Heisley said.
In addition to the issues with Heisley, the NBA was not
considering the application because Davis had not been able to show
that he could come up with $252 million needed to purchase
Heisley's controlling share or the $360 million necessary to
purchase the team. League officials said Dec. 5 they were not
considering the sale because the proposed buyers had not provided
enough information on their financing for the deal.
"I'm in the deal business," Heisley said. "I can't tell you
how many times people enter into a deal, and then are not able to
perform on that deal. It's very, very common."
Heisley said he would entertain other offers for the team, even
from a local ownership group, but he could not specify whether
there were any other deals on the table.
He didn't even rule out the Davis group returning to the
"I'm sure Brian would still like to buy the team," Heisley
said. "Whether he's able to put the deal together, I don't know.
Obviously, his time has run out with us, and we're not going to
give him an exclusive period any longer."