Things We Learned at Today’s Grizzlies Press Conference
Tonight, Memphians will get to see what this years' Grizzlies look like in their first home game (against the Utah Jazz). Today is also the first time for many of us to hear from the Grizzlies' new majority owner, Ubiquiti founder Robert Pera.
Pera and Jason Levien, the Grizzlies' new CEO, held a press conference this morning in the lobby at FedExForum. Here's what we learned:
– Pera, a longtime basketball super fanboy, feels like "the luckiest man in the world right now." He also really likes our stadium.
– He also realizes who's really in charge. During his opening remarks, he said, "I fully understand that the community in Memphis really owns this team."
– Pera described the new Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien as "a cross between Ari Gold and Jerry McGuire." It makes sense: Pera is all sincerity, Levien is a smooth talker.
– As CEO, Levien will handle the day-to-day opperations of the Grizzlies while Pera will be involved in the more high-level decisions.
– The Grizzlies' goals for this year are to be a competitive team, build a great brand and to positively influence the community. Pera seems very serious about getting the team more involved in Memphis. He mentioned it just about every time he talked, and specifically mentioned getting the Grizzlies more involved in schools and being positive role models for kids.
– Robert Pera can apparently dunk. He promised to prove it sometime soon.
– According to Levien, the only downside to being in Memphis is this: "We're both prepared to gain a lot of weight." He asks that we go easy on him with our foodstuffs.
– As for the new ownership's commitment to Memphis, Levien had this to say: "We're fully committed to Memphis. Not only will the team be here, but we want to leverage the team and the Grizzlies name to improve Memphis." He also noted, "We came into a situation where we just hope we don't screw it up."