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Justin Timberlake Part Of Group Purchasing Memphis Grizzlies: Report

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Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel attend the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel attend the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Unable to get the actual Jay-Z to do for them whatever it that he does for the Brooklyn Nets, the Memphis Grizzlies may have found the next best thing.

Justin Timberlake.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Timberlake, a Memphis native is set to become a minority partner in an ownership group led by billionaire Robert Pera that has agreed to buy the Grizz from current majority owner Michael Heisley.

Kyle Veazey of the Memphis Commercial Appeal also later reported Timberlake's involvement, citing a source close to Pera.

Pera, founder and CEO of the Ubiquiti Networks, agreed to purchase the Grizzlies back in June for a price around $350 million.

Timberlake has been widely known as an avid sports fan -- he really loves sports -- especially when it comes to the Memphis Tigers college basketball team (as he showed when he hosted the 2008 ESPY Awards).

The pop star turned actor joins a list of celebrities who have taken on ownership roles in sports franchises.

Jay-Z was recruited by Bruce Ratner back in 2004 and became part of the group that took over the Nets. Just last year, the Philadelphia 76ers were purchased by a multibillionaire Joshua Harris' private equity group, which included Philadelphia native Will Smith. And earlier this summer, a group including Magic Johnson purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for a record $2 billion.

The wealthy would-be owners of professional sports franchises seem to increasingly be recognizing the importance of star power in winning over a fan base.

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