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. This is part 2 AND part 3 of my interview with the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies. I had originally intended on posting this interview in 3 parts, but I feel like a kid on Christmas morning! I can’t wait another day to release the 3rd part! So here are the rest of the questions he was cool enough to answer for me. (And I agree, RJP… they DO need to play that clip* more. A LOT MORE.)
NBKay: Do you have any nicknames?
NBKay: You challenged TA to a 1 on 1 game. Do you think you can actually score on him?
RJP: Ha…my question is — can he score on me? I hope he has been working on his jumpshot this offseason because he won’t be pushing me around to get to the rim.
NBKay: Tony Allen is my favorite player. Most fans have a favorite Tony Allen moment – what is yours?
RJP: I like TA a lot. My thing is — I believe intense focus, dedication, and discipline can lead to an individual achieving the impossible. So anytime I see guys killing themselves to get better, I have huge respect for them because that is the only way I know how to do things.
NBKay: Do you ever channel your inner Mark Cuban and get emotional or angry when you watch the games?
RJP: All the time! But, I tone it down in public.
NBKay: How do you deal with the pressure of fan favorites & knowing people will hate your guts if the organization trades certain players? Does criticism from fans ever get to you?
RJP: I am in a very fortunate position just to be an NBA owner and having the opportunity to try and make the Grizzlies the best team in the NBA. I want the same thing the fans want! I hope over time, we can earn their trust.
NBKay: Give it to me straight, Pera… will we ever REALLY have wifi at the forum? GrizzNation wants to tweet!
RJP: Yes, we have a team that has been stress-testing the deployment during the offseason. It will be officially supported at season start.
NBKay: Favorite Justin Timberlake song? C’mon, I know you have one…
RJP: I am also a big Jay-Z fan. So I’ll go with Holy Grail.
NBKay: Will you ever dunk at a Grizz game for the fans? I think fans would love to see Robert Pera with the Kings Of The Court. Just think about it, okay?
NBKay: Did you have a favorite NBA player as a kid?
RJP: I grew up watching the GS Warriors on TV in the Run TMC days. I was devastated when Chris Webber left the Warriors after his rookie year. He was probably my favorite player back then. I liked Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin, and Sarunas Marciulionis a lot also.
NBKay: Who would win in a 1 on 1 game: You or Dave Joerger?
RJP: I think Dave would be in trouble!
NBKay: What did you think of the fans chanting “Whoop that trick!” during the playoffs?
RJP: It was awesome! We need to play that interactive video clip* more.
NBKay: Do you have a favorite playoff moment from 2013?
RJP: Tayshaun’s dunk in transition, Game 5 vs. OKC was pretty sweet.
NBKay: In your opinion, is the Memphis media a friend or foe to Robert Pera?
RJP: Probably depends on whether the team is winning or not! So, we have to keep getting better.
NBKay: You seem pretty calm and collected… how do you deal with stress?
RJP: My stress has to do with a problem or challenge I’m facing. So I just try to channel that stress back into solving it.
NBKay: If someone shadowed you for a week, what is the biggest thing they would notice about your lifestyle?
RJP: Probably the hands-on approach I take with work and how quickly/efficiently I can get things done.
NBKay: The Grizzlies resigned Tony Allen so you get major points from me. That isn’t a question, it’s just a fact. Just thought you’d like to know. Moving on….
I thought the Grizz memes you made during the playoffs were bad ass.
NBKay: What’s on your DVR right now?
RJP: The last shows I watched are Breaking Bad, NewsRoom, Game of Thrones, and Arrested Development. I have been watching a lot of Summer league Pro-Am clips on Youtube also.
NBKay: What’s on your iPod/music rotation right now?
RJP: Mostly Jay-Z.
NBKay: The fans will kill me if I don’t ask you something about the upcoming season. What specific areas of the game do you hope the Grizzlies can improve on?
RJP: I think shooting is a big one. I know Quincy has improved his shooting and of course Mike Miller is exactly what we were missing.
NBKay: Are there any specific players you’ve been impressed with in the offseason?
RJP: I see Ed Davis in particular has been putting in the work this offseason; so I am behind him 100%.
NBKay: In your opinion which Grizzlies player do you see having a break out year?
RJP: Ed and Quincy.
NBKay: What are your thoughts on team chemistry? How important do you think that is?
RJP: I believe great team chemistry with a disciplined and professional culture will always beat teams with superior individual talent without the same discipline.
NBKay: The media has kind of painted you as a quiet, serious guy. But I’ve noticed a more laid back & funny side of your personality through Twitter. Do you feel more comfortable in your role now than you did last season?
RJP: I think so; it has been all new territory for me. As with everything else, I learn and improve over time.
I want to publicly thank Robert Pera for taking the time to answer A LOT of my questions. I am really looking forward to this season and I have a lot of faith in Pera and the rest of the organization. If you see RJP around town, tell him you think he’s cool for taking the time to answer questions for that crazy Grizz fan, Katee. The Memphis Grizzlies continue to be an NBA team unlike any other. The amount of access a fan can have to the Grizzlies players, staff and owners is unparalleled in pro basketball. Let’s get them to play Holy Grail at a Grizz game for our awesome owner, RJP!