Peyton Manning, Wife Set to Share Part Ownership in NBA Team

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

It seems that Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has his foot in almost every business opportunity these days.  On Thursday, he took it one step further, becoming minority owners of the Memphis Grizzlies.

According to NFL Network reporter Michelle Beisner, Manning has entered into negotiations with a proposed ownership group to buy the Grizzlies organization from Michael Heisley for around $350 million following the 2012-13 season.  The group is officially headed by Robert Pera.

Manning has past connections with the city of Memphis, formerly playing collegiate football for the University of Tennessee.  Though Manning appears to be one of the leading stakeholders in the bid, it is actually Manning’s wife, Ashley, who has spearheaded the acquisition in Peyton’s absence.

“While my focus is on playing quarterback for the Denver Broncos, I look forward to watching her become involved with her hometown team,” Peyton said.

Quite the acquisition for a former Tennessean.  It appears that the Manning family has a new breadwinner.

“As a native of Memphis, it was important to me that the Grizzlies remain in Tennessee and continue to have a positive impact on the community,” Ashley said.

Manning has expressed that he won’t be too particular about his involvement with the Grizzlies ownership.  Though, I wouldn’t see why not.  The Grizzlies are a growing organization on the brink of playoff stardom.  Last year, they finished their division in second place (41-25), losing in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.  In 2010, they leaped into the Western Conference Semifinals, only to have the Los Angeles Lakers surge past them and onto the Finals.

Grizzlies guard Mike Conley had a chance to sound off on the team’s new ownership Tuesday during practice.  He mentioned that the chance in ownership will not affect the players and the product on the floor, though no one really expected it would.

“We’ve heard a lot of good things about him, and his intentions are all good,” Conley said about Pera.  “I know the city of Memphis should be excited.  As a team, we are excited.  It’s going to be a different expectation for us, and we’re just looking forward to taking it on.”

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