Larry Ellison has a serious amount of cash to his name and the native Californian is looking to bring yet another basketball team to the Bay Area. The Warriors have a dedicated following of fans, and even the Kings a few hours north have a strong following around the area. Would another NBA team work in San Jose? Ellison is hoping to make that a reality by purchasing the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Commercial Appeal has the latest update:
Californian Larry Ellison, ranked as the third-richest person in the U.S., has inquired about buying the Memphis Grizzlies with apparent hopes of moving the team to San Jose.
But majority team owner Michael Heisley today downplayed the possibility of a sale - and of a relocation, citing a lease that ties the franchise to Memphis and FedExForum until 2021.
"I can't downplay it enough. If it happens I'll be surprised," said Heisley, a Chicago-based billionaire who added that talks had not become serious. "It's in the initial stages. We've handled this just like we've handled several other dozen requests. My situation in Memphis has not changed a lick. My preference will always be for somebody in Memphis to buy the team. There's not any interest in Memphis. But we've always made it known that if somebody wants to buy the team, we'll listen. If they're real buyers we'll probably be sellers. So far there hasn't been anyone willing to buy the team under my terms and for my price."
Ellison, CEO of software giant Oracle Corp., is worth $36 billion, according to Forbes. He has made unsuccessful attempts to buy the NBA's New Orleans Hornets and Golden State Warriors. Ellison has inquired about the Grizzlies before over the past five years.
It is pretty apparent that Ellison is eager to purchase a team and move it to his home state, but it does not look like the Grizzlies and their owners want to move west. Still, though, Ellison has plenty of money to fund a move and will likely continue to pursue any and all NBA opportunities in San Jose.