HANG TIME, Texas — Let’s get back to talking about whether the Grizzlies should have let O.J. Mayo get away. Or talk about blowing that 27-point lead to the Clippers in the playoffs. Or Z-Bo’s post game or Lionel Hollins’ trademark grumpiness or anything else that happens on the court at the FedEx Forum.
As our good buddy and wonderful Commercial-Appeal columnist Geoff Calkins says, the one thing we shouldn’t have to do anymore is talk about the Grizzlies leaving Memphis:
Never again will you have to listen to those who would tell you the team will be out of here in five years or ten. Never again will you have to wonder if a particularly thin Tuesday crowd is the beginning of the end.
Robert Pera is not moving the Grizzlies. Nobody is moving the Grizzlies.
“The team is not going anywhere,” said Staley Cates. “That’s the whole point.”
Cates is one of a group of Memphians — others include Pitt Hyde, Duncan Williams, Ed Dobbs and Billy Orgel — who have reached a deal with Pera to buy between 30-35 percent of the team.
As part of the deal, Pera agreed to three provisions that will make it nearly impossible for the Grizzlies to move for at least 15 years:
If the Grizzlies were to leave Memphis, Pera would have to pay a $100 million penalty.
If Pera were to sell the team to someone who wanted to move it, the local owners would have the right to match the deal and buy the team themselves.
3) If Pera were to try and move the team himself, the local owners would have the right to buy the team at the current price.
All three provisions are in affect for the next 15 years. In other words: The Grizzlies ain’t moving. Can we please never talk about that subject again? And can we please disregard the lunacy of any who would try and tell you that local owners haven’t “stepped up?”
Let’s get back to talking about the ribs at the Rendezvous or the shrimp and grits at Pearl’s Oyster Bar or the Jungle Room at Graceland. The subject of the Grizzlies leaving town is now closed.