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Jody Allen Says Blazers Not for Sale, Raises Questions About Blazers Being for Sale
Allen's unprompted statement came down on Tuesday morning.
Jody Allen has yet to speak to reporters since she took over ownership of the Blazers and Seahawks following the passing of her brother, Paul, in fall of 2018. This statement, released late morning on Tuesday, is the closest thing we've gotten and likely will ever get.
Statement from Jody Allen
Jul 5, 2022
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The timing of the statement is bizarre to say the least. There's been no new reporting or developments since June 2, when ESPN broke the news that Nike founder Phil Knight and Dodgers minority owner Alan Smolinisky had submitted a $2 billion bid to buy the Blazers. That day, the team issued a statement reiterating the team is not for sale.
That day happened to be the start of the Finals, meaning NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave his annual state-of-the-league press conference before Game 1 tipped off. When he was asked about the news of the offer, this is what he said:
"I don't know all the specifics of Paul Allen's trust. What I understand is that Jody Allen, who is Paul Allen's sister, is the trustee of the estate and that at some point, the team will be sold. I don't have any sense of the precise timing. I read that same statement today in which she or someone on behalf of the estate said the team is not currently for sale. But at some point it will be for sale. This is a hugely complex estate, and although it's been several years, these things take time.
"It will work its way out, but I know Jody and her advisers are very focused on it. As to the timing, that is something her brother left in her hands."
One thing anybody who's covered the league for long enough can tell you about Silver is that nothing he says in these settings is off-the-cuff. If there was absolutely nothing to the idea of the team being for sale, he would have no-commented it and deferred to the team's statement. It's why his answer to a question about the league's expansion plans at the same press conference was also eyebrow-raising.
The league would clearly like the Blazers to be sold sooner rather than later, and all indications are that they'd like Knight to be the buyer. All of the major sports leagues have been trying to get Knight to buy a team for decades, and this is the first time in over 40 years that he's shown any real interest, let alone submitted a written offer. (After the news of his offer broke, John Canzano detailed his effort to buy the Clippers in 1980.)
The Vulcans' denial last month, and Jody Allen's statement today coming totally out of the blue, scan as public negotiation to get the price up from the reported $2 billion. Multiple people have told me that if Knight and Smolinisky offered $3 billion, the deal would get done today. My educated guess is that they'll meet in the middle somewhere around $2.5 billion, and that the sale will happen in the next 8-12 months.
The team is maintaining that there's nothing to see here. You can believe whatever you want. But there's been too much smoke in the past few months to take any of this at face value.