First, there was an ESPN report that pop star and famous
Memphian Justin Timberlake planned to buy into the Memphis Grizzlies' new
Second, there was the revelation that people from Memphis
are known as "Memphians," which sounds like a combination between
"Memphis" and "amphibian," which in turn conjures a mental
image of a blues-playing bad guy who does battle with Aquaman.
What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, Justin
Anyway, JT is making a "meaningful investment"
into the Grizzlies, according to ESPN, as part of Rob Pera's prospective
ownership group. The Grizzlies have been subject to relocation rumors in recent
years, but Pera appears to have gathered some formidable investors, including
AutoZone king Pitt Hyde. Also significant in quashing some of the relocation
talk is the Grizzlies' lease at the FedExForum, which institutes huge penalties
if the team moves before 2029.
With Timberlake on board, the Grizzlies would have one of
the most widely recognized celebrity minority owners in the NBA, approaching
the celebrity of Sixers part-owner and Hollywood megastar Will Smith (the
10th-highest grossing actor in history) and possibly eclipsing Jay-Z, a visible
presence with the Nets. (Jay-Z's best-selling album, The Blueprint Vol. 2, sold 7.9 million copies worldwide. Each of
Timberlake's first two albums sold more than 9 million copies.)
None of this means the Grizzlies will finally win that
championship they have been darkhorse contenders for the last two years, but it
would give Memphians some courtside star power.
Photo via Twitter/@jtimberlake