New owner brings youthful buzz to the Grizzlies

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012
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He started Ubiquiti Networks in March 2005 and went public in October 2011. The communications technology company taps into Wi-Fi technology to extend Internet access into underserved and rural areas, and Pera wants to use some of the ideas with the Grizzlies.

Pera wants more branding and marketing of the team. He talked of bringing more technology not just to the Grizzlies' FedExForum arena but Memphis schools as well. And he plans to use the same management approach with the Grizzlies by not having a bunch of management and letting engineers make decisions.

"One of the things I'd like to see moving forward in the culture is to really empower the players to have input on who they want to play with and make them accountable for creating their own team and their own culture," Pera said. "I think when you empower people like that you bring out the best in them."

The Grizzlies haven't had much time to get to know Pera, whose purchase was finalized last week. He spoke to them before Monday night's home opener, and forward Rudy Gay liked what he heard.

"He didn't say much," Gay said of Pera. "My kind of guy."

What plans Pera and his close friend Jason Levien, the new chief executive officer and managing partner in charge of the Grizzlies, have for the actual roster remain to be seen. They've been consumed the past few months with meeting the NBA's exhaustive vetting for buying a team, and now they can start the work of running the Grizzlies.

"I don't think it's too far off," Pera said. "It's going to take a couple smart moves, and I think we could be very competitive."