Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Micheal Heisley: 215th richest man in America

The Grizzlies owner has a net worth of 2.1 billion dollars, good enough to put him in the Forbes 400 List. Forgive me when I don't feel bad when he loses money with the Grizzlies. I have always been puzzled with contingent of fans that defend the consistent cutting back in spending on the team that has hurt the product from all angles. Grizzlies losses for him is like me losing 10 bucks. The facts are not that Heisley is a great owner that is willing to spend, the facts are that Heisley was an owner that was willing to spend. There is no debate that both the basketball and business sides have been downsized financially drastically in the last few years. Now we are at a point where there are less season ticket holders for the Grizzlies than any other team in the league. He did spend money, he did not make money back and so now he is gonna limit losses until he can get rid of the team. Listen to him talk about when the team was in the playoffs. He talks about them like they won a damn championship, or even 1 game. All you have to do is hear him and you get the sense that he sits behind a closed door and says, "We made the playoffs three straight years and these people still would not support this team enough, so screw it." The dude is so out of touch with Memphis and the fans it is amazing. "I will be around more, I will be more involved, blah blah blah." He comes in one time a year and says it, and we will hear it again this year. There is apathy from the fans and the team on the business side and basketball side is run on the cheap. Don't listen to me or any other media member (esp. the ones in Heisleys pocket), just ask any Grizzlies employee or former employee what they think about the franchise. The local owners had enough and they rolled out, and the only hope is that one day the team will be sold to someone that wants to have the team survive and thrive in Memphis (which is admittedly wishful thinking). I love the last line of the Forbes write-up:

Computer salesman became turnaround whiz. Used $150,000 profit from selling home and $10 million in bank loans to acquire Conco, maker of sewer and drain equipment. Expanded holdings; bought several near-bankrupt Rust Belt manufacturers. Today Heico operates 40 companies. Earnings generated through steel, construction, equipment. Founded private equity firm Stony Land Partners 2007; returned investors' money 2008 after credit crunch hit. Owns pro basketball's Memphis Grizzlies despite several efforts to sell team.

The team I care about, the team some of you care about, is a throw away line at the end of the profile. That seems about right.

The Article: