“The team is still not for sale”
Nike founder Phil Knight and Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinisky reportedly offered more than $2 billion to buy the Portland Trail Blazers.
But the Jody Allen-owned franchise says it’s not for sale. Not that Knight and Smolinisky are discouraged.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Statement from the Blazers: An offer has been made by Phil Knight. The team is still not for sale.
— Adrien Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 2, 2022
Nike founder Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinisky have submitted a written offer worth more than $2 billion to buy the Portland Trail Blazers and plan to remain aggressive in acquiring the team, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
Allen should have sold the franchise as a condition of the trust of his late brother, Paul Allen. However, she has 10 years from her death in 2018 to do so, according to Seattle writer Art Thiel:
Ultra-wealthy people and their attorneys, locally and nationally, know that the Vulcan Trust’s requirement to sell Paul Allen’s assets is within 10 years of his death in 2018. The Seahawks/Blazers could be sold to any time if a take-it-or-leave-it blockbuster was offered.
— Art Thiel (@Art_Thiel) May 25, 2022
So whether or not the team is currently for sale is probably semantics – or, perhaps more accurately, a negotiation tactic.
Still, the Trail Blazers didn’t have to issue such a strong public statement. Maybe Jody Allen doesn’t mind looking a little stupid if she sells the team soon. But the statement suggests to me that she is very reluctant to sell now.