The Memphis Grizzlies have issued the following statement today on the passing of former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley:
“This is a sad day as the entire Grizzlies’ organization, the extended NBA family and the city of Memphis mourn the loss of former Grizzlies owner, Michael Heisley. We send our condolences to the entire Heisley family and want them to know they remain in our thoughts,” said Memphis Grizzlies’ Controlling Owner Robert Pera.
The Grizzlies were purchased by Mr. Heisley in 2000 when the team was located in Vancouver, Canada. Mr. Heisley was instrumental relocating the Grizzlies to Memphis, Tennessee, and to FedExForum, a state-of-the art NBA arena built by the City of Memphis and Shelby County.
Mr. Heisley was also instrumental in getting the Grizzlies active in the community, supporting the National Civil Rights Museum in establishing the annual MLK Day Celebration game, helping form the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and building relationships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital including helping to build the Memphis Grizzlies House, a temporary on-campus residence for families with children being treated at the hospital. Mr. Heisley expressed his continued support for the Grizzlies and the Memphis community after his sale of the team to Robert Pera in 2012, saying, “I have enjoyed my ownership of the Grizzlies and the support for professional basketball in Memphis. I am confident that the franchise will continue its development toward being a perennial championship contender and an important member of the Memphis community.”
The Grizzlies will announce plans to honor Mr. Heisley at a later date.