AP Source: Mannings agree to join Grizzlies’ group

NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP) - NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and his wife, Ashley, and former NBA player Penny Hardaway have agreed to join the group of minority owners for the Memphis Grizzlies, said a person familiar with the deal.

The Mannings and Hardaway join a minority group that includes singer and actor Justin Timberlake and a couple Memphis businessmen, the person told The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because prospective buyer Robert J. Pera’s purchase of the Grizzlies is pending approval by the NBA.

The addition of Manning and Hardaway first was reported by The Chris Vernon Show on WMFS-FM on Thursday.

Pera, owner of a California tech company, agreed to buy the Grizzlies from Michael Heisley in June for $350 million. The NBA is expected to approve the sale this month.

Since agreeing to buy the Grizzlies, Pera has been busy lining up his own group of minority owners including AutoZone founder J.R. “Pit” Hyde and businessman Staley Cates who were minority owners with Heisley. Pera also has worked to add plenty of local star power to the group as well.

Timberlake was born in Memphis. Hardaway is a Memphis native who played collegiately at then-Memphis State. Ashley Manning once lived in Memphis and married Peyton there on St. Patrick’s Day in 2001. Peyton Manning played at the University of Tennessee across the state in Knoxville.

Having even a tiny piece of a pro sports team in another league will not be a conflict for Manning with the NFL, according to league spokesman Greg Aiello.

A spokesman with Manning’s current team, the Denver Broncos, had no comment Thursday. Manning had his weekly availability with reporters Wednesday.

Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said Tuesday that the ownership change will not affect the players themselves or change what they have to do on the court. But they all have heard about Pera, a former Apple engineer who left in 2005 to start Ubiquiti Networks, a communications technology company that makes WiFi networking equipment.

“We’ve heard a lot of good things about him, and his intentions are all good,” Conley said. “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.”

The Grizzlies open the season Oct. 31 at the Los Angeles Clippers.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • **FILE** In this April 23, 2013 photo, Cuba's former pitcher Conrado Marrero, the world's oldest living former major league baseball player, holds up a baseball with his signature at his home, two days before is 102nd birthday, as he holds an unlit cigar in his mouth in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

    Conrado Marrero dies at 102; ex-Senator was oldest living MLB player

  • Washington Wizards guard John Wall, left, and Bradley Beal celebrate the Wizards' 101-99 win as Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich walks off the court after missing two free throws during the overtime period of Game 2 in an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    HARRIS: D.C. not yet spellbound by Wizards, but they’re no illusion

  • Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III watches Baylor and Central Florida play during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

    Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race

  • Washington Wizards forward Nene, left, guards Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer during the first half in Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Chicago, Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Early returns show projections of physical Wizards-Bulls series were correct

  • Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) celebrates after catching a 25 yard touchdown in the first quarter as the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles in Monday Night NFL football at FedExField, Landover, Md., Monday, September 9, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

    Dan Snyder: DeSean Jackson ‘really a good guy’

  • Celebrities In The News
  • ** FILE ** In this March 19, 2013, file photo, Justin Bieber performs during a concert at Bercy Arena in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

    Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip

  • FILE - This Jan. 8, 2014 file photo shows singer Chris Brown, right, arriving at the District of Columbia Superior Court in Washington. After a brief postponement, singer Chris Brown's trial on an assault charge is scheduled to begin in Washington. Brown's trial had been set for Monday but was delayed while lawyers tried to work out whether his bodyguard will testify. It's unclear whether the trial will start Wednesday, as Brown's lawyers seem to want, or if further legal maneuvering will delay it.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

    Chris Brown assault trial delayed again

  • Justin Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial