Nike’s Phil Knight And Dodgers Co-Owner Alan Smolinisky Offer $2 Billion For Portland Trail Blazers NBA Franchise

Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinisky have offered, in writing, more than $2 billion for the Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchise according to multiple reports.

The Trail Blazers were long owned by Paul Allen, who Allen bought them in 1988 for $70 million. Since his passing four years ago, the team has been a part of the late billionaire’s estate, of which his sister Jody is trustee. While she has controlled the team for the past four years, it was reportedly always her brother’s wish that the Trail Blazers be sold off to another passionate owner or owners. They may have just arrived.

Knight, who like Allen is a billionaire, was born in Portland, went to college at the University of Oregon and planted Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, just outside Portland. His presence in the deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski who broke the news, “speaks to its desire to keep the Blazers in Portland and move the franchise forward there.”

It’s likely a key consideration for Jody Allen, as well. Her brother, who was not just the owner but also a massive fan of the team, likely would have wanted the team to stay put, despite the pressure on small market teams such as Portland to move to bigger cities and generate more ticket and TV revenue. Of course, the value of such a franchise would skyrocket if it were moved to, say, Tampa Bay. By comparison, Steve Ballmer bought the L.A. Clippers eight years ago for $2 billion. They are worth much, much more today.

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