By now, Grizz fans know that Robert Pera is the founder of Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. and the principal owner of the Memphis Grizzlies. But there is still a lot we don’t know about Robert “RJP” Pera. Does he like Breaking Bad? Has he ever met any crazy Grizz fans? Who is his favorite Memphis rapper? These are just a few of the pressing questions I asked the 35 year old, Memphis Grizzlies owner this week. And as it turns out, Robert Pera is cool! He’s cool for agreeing to this fan interview. He’s cool for putting up with my silly questions. And he’s cool for answering the questions without a hint of pretentiousness. Here is part one of a three part series I am calling “Breaking Pera”.
NBKay: Zbo said Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Tony Allen told me Popeye, so I have to ask- what was your favorite childhood cartoon?
NBKay: Drink of choice?
RJP: I don’t drink alcohol…not out of any kind of principle or anything. I just never really liked the taste of it.
NBKay: Have you noticed anything unique or different about Memphis fans?
RJP: I grew up in the Bay Area where there are several pro sports teams. But in Memphis, the Grizzlies are THE team and so there are more die-hard fans which is great!
NBKay: Have you had any strange or crazy Grizz fan encounters?
RJP: Not really; everyone I have met has been very supportive of the team’s direction. I noticed things can get a little crazy on Twitter and the Message Boards when we have made personnel decisions. But, it’s great to see passionate fans either way.
NBKay: You’ve been hanging around Memphis for a while now, are you picking up any southern or Memphis slang?
RJP: I had seen Hustle and Flow 5+ times well before my first time in Memphis! It’s one of my favorite movies.
NBKay: I know I’m probably hurting my credibility with this question, but do you have a celebrity crush?
RJP: Whatever I can get…ha.
NBKay: You are awesome on Twitter! So why don’t you tweet more?
RJP: It’s fun once in a while, and I like to show my support for the team! But I need to stay focused on my career.
NBKay: Do you have a recent embarrassing moment you are willing to tell?
RJP: I was at a wedding over the weekend and didn’t realize it until midway through the day (after meeting everyone; most of whom I didn’t know) that my suit jacket collar had been unintentionally popped up the whole time (I got dressed on the way there). The couple of people I did know there didn’t tell me because apparently they thought I did it in purpose.
NBKay: Favorite Memphis rapper? You are required to have one. It’s in the contract… somewhere.
RJP: I guess I got to go with Three 6 Mafia because of the Hustle and Flow tie. And their “Hollyhood” TV show was pretty funny too.
NBKay: Do you watch Breaking Bad? If so – team Jesse or team Walt?
RJP: Who doesn’t? It’s an incredible show because we see flaws and complications across all of the characters to the point it gets morally confusing deciding who the “good guys” and the “bad guys” really are. The writer did outstanding work in developing the intensity of that conflict.
NBKay: Admit it… You hate the Clippers too, right?
Want to know what Robert Pera said about challenging Tony Allen to a 1 on 1 game? (Spoiler alert: He’s calling you out, Tony!) Come back to 3sob.com tomorrow to read part 2 of my interview with Memphis Grizzlies owner, Robert Pera.