Former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley in a coma, according to a report

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Former Memphis Grizzlies owner and billionaire businessman Michael Heisley has reportedly slipped into a coma.

Former Memphis Grizzlies owner and billionaire businessman Michael Heisley is in a coma in a Chicago hospital, according to a report by Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis. The 75-year-old former owner was hospitalized in February after suffering a stroke, and he has also undergone a heart procedure within the past two years.

Heisley owned the Grizzlies franchise for 11 years before selling his stake in the team to a group headed by California billionaire Robert J. Pera, and he boldly decided to move the franchise from Vancouver to Memphis in 2001.

Concerns about Heisley's long-term health may cast further doubt on his rumored interest in purchasing another NBA team, such as the Milwaukee Bucks franchise owned by Herb Kohl. Marc Stein of ESPN reported back in November that the Chicago-based Heisley was possibly prepared to make "a serious bid to buy the franchise if Sen. Kohl can secure the new building." Heisley quickly denied the report and called it "a false rumor," but he did express interest in returning to the NBA as an owner during an interview in January.

Unfortunately, health issues have now become the primary focus for Heisley. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Heisley and his family.

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