“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:

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:

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.

Laura J. Boyer