Guess who just raised his paddle

For years, as the Portand Trail Blazers have flopped around in mediocrity, fans have wondered why Nike bajillionaire Phil Knight didn't buy the team. The answer was always that he wasn't interested.

Well, according to all reports, he is now, reportedly offering more than $2 billion for the franchise in a bid he's said to be putting in with real estate tycoon Alan Smolinisky. Smolinisky is part owner of the baseball Dodgers.

What's most intriguing about this news is how late in the game it is for Knight to be making such a move. He's 84 years old. But his son is 49; maybe he wants it. Either that, or Dad plans to try to donate his share to some sort of charitable trust when he dies. Or maybe they'd sell off minority ownership stakes at some point.

With Knight as co-owner, it would seem a lot less likely that the Blazers would leave the area, although I could definitely see him threatening to pull out of Portland proper. Negotiations loom with Portland City Hall over the real estate aspect of the Blazers, and somebody like Phil would likely chew those arrogant incompetents up and spit them out. Either that, or just walk out and never look back. But lately I've been reading that the league won't allow the team to be moved to Seattle or Las Vegas, because those cities are supposed to get expansion teams, which are more lucrative for the rest of the league's owners. I can't see any other city that would be a good fit, can you?

Anyway, it's all speculation at this point, and so we'll watch and wait along with everybody else. The Blazers are almost certain to be sold, because their long-time owner, tech bro Paul Allen, is long gone from this earth, and the trust documents he left behind apparently require a sale. The only question is, who's the buyer going to be?

Among those watching is Damian Lillard, the team's superstar, who seems determined to stay here despite the franchise management demonstrating time and again that they have nary a clue about what they are doing. By the time Dame admits that success is still not forthcoming, he'll be an old guy who might, if he's lucky, win a championship once or twice as the second or third shooting option with a couple of much younger stars in another place.

Anyway, as for Allen's sole heir, his sister Jody, I would urge her to just do it, and the sooner the better. And to Knight, who doesn't need my advice: Close the deal quick and clean house. Get rid of the clowns currently posing in the front office and replace that hideous Chauncey Billups as coach. Maybe you could find a job somewhere in the organization for Betsy Johnson after her third-place finish this November. She could give machine gun demonstrations at halftime, or something.


  1. I doubt that the team is going anywhere at this point. They are now a legacy team in the NBA, and it would be unheard of for a team with such deep roots to up and move for no good reason. Not that I would mind if they did though.

    1. ^That coulda been said of the Seattle super Sonics?


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