The 7-foot Iranian center (now the property of the Phoenix Suns) has been traded two times in the past several weeks, but a piece of his heart clearly still remains in Memphis, where the Grizzlies learned Saturday that former owner Michael Heisley had been hospitalized due to a stroke.
My prayers to mr. Heisley and his family. A true gentleman. Hope for fast recovery.
— Hamed Haddadi (@HamedHaddadi15) February 24, 2013
Heisley was stricken last weekend soon after returning home from Houston, where he attended the NBA All-Star game.
“The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers,” Heisley’s wife, Agnes, said Saturday in a statement that requested respect for the family’s privacy.
Heisley’s net worth is $1.9 billion, according to Forbes magazine. He paid $160 million for the Grizzlies in 2000 when the franchise was in Vancouver. The NBA allowed Heisley to move the Grizzlies to Memphis in 2001.
He recently sold the team to California technology mogul Robert Pera, who chairs an ownership band that includes a number of local investors. The Pera-led group purchased the team for $377 million last October.
“On behalf of the entire Grizzlies organization, its fans and all those Mike touched in Memphis, our thoughts and prayers are with him, Agnes and the entire Heisley family through this trying time. We wish Mike a speedy recovery and hope to see him back courtside at FedExForum soon,” Griz CEO Jason Levien said in a statement.