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Grizzlies' owner defends commitment to win, says Memphis can do 'serious damage' in playoffs

  • 8604ed94ddcb3c03280f6a7067005c3d.jpg

    Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph reacts after being called for a foul in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Oklahoma City won 106-89. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)The Associated Press

  • abc34e55ddae3c03280f6a70670049c5.jpg

    Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol sits on the bench in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Oklahoma City won 106-89. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)The Associated Press

The Grizzlies' new owner is defending the trade of his team's leading scorer and other moves to dump salary, saying he believes they can do some "serious damage" in the playoffs with the changes.

Robert Pera took part in a web chat Friday with Memphis' season ticket holders along with chief executive officer Jason Levien, and Pera's first question was about whether the new ownership group has the financial ability to run the team.

Pera hadn't spoken publicly since taking over the team Nov. 5. He wrote that NBA teams have won titles with superstars and that history shows teams can win without a superstar.

The Grizzlies traded three players and a first-round draft pick to Cleveland last week and sent Rudy Gay to Toronto in a three-team trade Wednesday.