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Memphis Grizzlies owner to retain controlling interest in team

Robert Pera will retain his controlling interest in the Memphis Grizzlies, the team announced on Monday. (AP/William DeShazer)

The Memphis Grizzlies aren’t changing hands after all.

The team announced on Monday afternoon that controlling owner Robert Pera has informed the NBA that he will retain his controlling interest in the team after multiple minority owners enacted a buy/sell clause. Pera announced his decision in an email to season ticket holders, ending the uncertainty surrounding the franchise.

Minority owners Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus initially enacted the buy/sell clause back in November, The Athletic first reported, after multiple years of struggle and the firing of coach David Fizdale, which caused an uproar across the league.

The clause forced Pera to either buy out his partners — at a price that Kaplan and Straus set according to their valuation — or sell his 25 percent stake in the team. Pera opted to do the former.

Since they reached the Western Conference Finals in 2013 and were called “the model of small-market success” by commissioner Adam Silver, the Grizzlies have struggled immensely. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who was promoted after Fizdale was fired, became the fourth coach in Memphis in six seasons. The Grizzlies are currently in the second-worst spot in the NBA standings with only 22 wins this season, ahead of only the Phoenix Suns.

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