- Chris Broussard, NBA analyst
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Grizzly Acquisitions Holdings, an investment group led by former NBA players Christian Laettner and Brian Davis, submitted an application to purchase majority ownership of the Memphis Grizzlies to the NBA office on Thursday, according to a source in Memphis, Tenn.
Davis and Laettner are attempting to purchase majority owner Michael Heisley's 70 percent share of the franchise, which is valued at $360 million. The application is pending review and approval by the NBA's Board of Governors, which could take anywhere from 30 to 90 days.
The group began talks with Heisley last fall, but the deal appeared to fall apart amid questions concerning whether Davis and Laettner had the appropriate funding. While most league executives considered the deal dead, the former Duke University teammates spent the past few months working to secure the investors necessary to submit their bid.
Davis and Laettner helped lead Duke to NCAA championships in 1991 and 1992. Davis played briefly for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Laettner enjoyed a 13-year career that included stops in Minnesota, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Washington and Miami.
The duo currently own Blue Devil Ventures, a real estate development firm in Durham, N.C.
If successful in their attempt to buy the Grizzlies, Davis will become the controlling owner, and Laettner will manage much of the team's basketball operations.
The Grizzlies' basketball operations are currently run by president Jerry West. His contract ends after this season, but Davis and Laettner consider him one of the league's pre-eminent executives and will work to keep him involved with the franchise, according to the source.
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