Meet the New Boss? 

In a surprise, the Memphis Grizzlies media day opened not with a statement by Jerry West, but with a joint press conference between current majority owner Michael Heisley and former Duke University basketball player Brian Davis, who leads an investment group that has agreed in principle to purchase Heisley’s 70-percent share of the team. If Davis’ group — which includes former Duke teammate and NBA player Christian Laettner along with other unnamed investors — does buy a majority share of the team, the deal is unlikely to be consummated until early 2007. The current local minority owners have 60 days to exercise their right of first refusal over Heisley’s majority share. Then the purchase would have to be vetted and approved by the NBA league offices. But appearing side-by-side today, Heisley and Davis both seemed confident the sale would go through, which would make Davis only the second African-American majority owner in the NBA. Davis also pushed the ball forward on a number of other angles to what will be a huge ongoing story: Will the team move? What’s Jerry West’s future? How can the new group avoid the losses that Heisley reportedly suffered? Will Christian Laettner play for the Grizzlies?

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