Granted, many fans may have laughed this notion off at first. Obviously, in our digital world, things are said online amongst celebrities and common-folk alike. Not to mention that coordinating a meeting between a mulch-billionaire and an NBA starting guard is not an easy task -- especially considering that Mr. Pera does not even live in Memphis.
With all of this in mind, it came as a bit of a surprise to fans that this matchup is actually going to happen. The Memphis Grizzlies announced Thursday that Pera and Allen with square off on September 28 at the Grizzlies' practice facility in FedEx Forum. To prevent any unsportsmanlike conduct, there will be a referee present at the match: Memphis Grizzlies star forward Zach Randolph.
This may seem like nothing more than a publicity stunt, but it is certainly for a good cause. Pera and Allen have agreed to donate $100,000 to one of Memphis' greatest charitable organizations: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Predictions for this matchup? Expect Mr. Pera to put up a good fight. He is a diehard basketball enthusiast and certainly has the means to hire private coaching if he so wishes. Even so, don't think that Tony Allen will go easy on him by any means. If there is one word Memphis fans could describe Tony Allen with, it very well may be "competitive."
If you are one who would love to watch this epic exhibition of skill, talent, and athleticism, you many be out of luck. The event will not be open to the public. Although, media are welcome to attend. The game will even be carried live on the Grizzlies' official (local) radio network.
Perhaps the Memphis Grizzlies should consider making owner-vs-player games a regular event. Fans would certainly love to see minority owner and NFL superstar Peyton Manning go up against Marc Gasol or Mike Conley. And let's not forget about minority owner and pop-sensation Justin Timberlake, who could compete with Tayshaun Prince or Jerryd Bayless.
Nicholas Naveiras is a lifelong Memphian, college student, and diehard Memphis Grizzlies follower. He has followed the franchise's on- and off-court progress since 2001.
- Sports & Recreation
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Tony Allen
- Robert Pera