So, the Memphis Business Journal reports that this rough-and-tumble, one-on-one basketball match-up between Ubiquiti Networks CEO (and a Memphis Grizzlies owner) Robert Pera and Grizzlies shooting guard Tony Allen is actually going to happen.
I know. You’ve been dying of suspense.
Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien says the battle, between a guy who makes his living draining a basketball through the hoop and a guy who makes his living selling routers and other gizmos you wouldn’t know if you tripped over them, will happen this month.
“’The one-on-one game is going to happen with Robert and Tony,’” Levien told the Memphis Biz Journal. “’Robert is a guy running a multibillion-dollar company (Ubiquiti), but he keeps himself in great shape. He’s going to come at Tony with all he’s got.’”
And he’s going to get killed.
How did this whole thing get started? How do these things ever get started? On Twitter, of course.
Hey GrindFather @aa000G9 -- How about we play 1:1 in Memphis before training camp start? I'll spot you a couple baskets to make it a game!— Robert J Pera (@RobertPera) September 9, 2013
Pera even sweetened the deal by offering to donate a hundred stacks to Allen’s favorite charity. That’s $1 million. No, I didn’t look it up.
OK. I did.
@aa000G9 I’ll personally donate a hundred stacks to your charity if you beat me
— Robert J Pera (@RobertPera) September 9, 2013
Anyway, this little contest struck me as not nearly ambitious enough. With basically everybody who is anybody in Silicon Valley owning a piece of an NBA team (it’s the new toy in the valley), why not field a whole team of valley-all-stars to go against a team of NBA all-stars? (Or why not field a whole team to go against Allen, so the suits would at least have an outside chance.)
Besides Pera, who bought the Grizzlies last year, I’d add Vivek Ranadive (Sacramento Kings/Tibco Software), Joe Lacob (Golden State Warriors/Kleiner Perkins partner emeritus), Mark Stevens (Golden State Warriors/S-Cubed Capital, Sequoia alum) and Larry Ellison.
OK, Admiral Ellison doesn’t own a basketball team, but he’s expressed a keen interest in getting one. The NBA has expressed a less keen interest in Ellison’s interest — which goes to show that maybe it’s true that money can’t buy everything.
(Photo of Tony Allen scrambling with the Warriors David Lee earlier this year by Bay Area News Group photographer D. Ross Cameron)