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Is Portland Trail Blazers owner Jody Allen a problem for the franchise?

Despite the Nike co-founder’s intent to purchase the team, it appears that the franchise’s current owner isn’t interested in selling it at this moment in time.

Phil Knight, fundador de Nike, quiere comprar a los Portland Trail Blazers
Dominick Reuter

Just a year ago, Nike co-founder Phil Knight and real estate mogul, Alan Smolinisky, made a $2 billion offer to purchase the Portland Trail Blazers. Strangely, their bid and all subsequent ones were denied by the organization. Today, they are still attempting to negotiate a deal as reported by the Wall Street Journal. So, the question is what’s going on?

Phil Knight sees the effort to buy Trail Blazers blocked

If you didn’t know, the Blazers are owned by the late Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, who died from cancer in 2018. It’s important to note, that Allen left instructions to sell all of his assets, which also includes the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL. To date, it would appear that his orders have been ignored by his 65-year-old sibling, Jody Allen. Indeed, both her and Vulcan Inc., the corporation that manages all of the Allen family businesses have continued to maintain that there is no timetable for a sale.

So, what do we know of the Trail Blazers situation right now?

According to reports, both Knight and Smolinisky have sent numerous emails and handwritten letters, none of which have been answered by Allen or Vulcan Inc. It’s also understood that the pair have even offered to increase their initial bid after both the Phoenix Suns and Mercury sold for $4 billion earlier this year. Yet, the result has been the same: no go.

“As Jody publicly said last year, the sports teams are not for sale,” a spokesman for Vulcan Inc. stated. “That will eventually change pursuant to Paul’s wishes, but there is no pre-ordained timeline for when that will happen. Interested parties can engage when we establish a sales process at some point in the future.” It’s worth noting that the statement to which the spokesperson referred, is one that Allen made last year when she declared that both she and the team would continue to focus on winning, as “estates of this size and complexity can take 10 to 20 years to wind down.”

Is Jody Allen a problem for the Portland Trail Blazers

This is where things get interesting. Days after her statement in 2022, a report alleged that her behavior was not only “toxic,” but it was becoming evident in her management of the team itself. From accusations of employee abuse to violation of U.S. import laws, a negative picture was painted. Then, there were also suggestions that she refused to speak with Blazers star, Damian Lillard, who began to take issue with the direction in which the team was heading. It remains unclear as to whether the issue was ever resolved, but what we do know is where Lillard is concerned, he’s entering the third year of his four-year contract and just earlier this week, he spoke openly about hypothetical trade destinations. This is all to say, whether it’s in ownership or management, it looks like the Portland Trail Blazers need a change.


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