So this news broke yesterday, but I’m only getting to it now: the sale of the team has reportedly been approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors. From Derek Bodner of SBNation Philly:
A source with knowledge of the situation has informed SBNation Philly that the sale of the Sixers to an investment group led by Joshua Harris is expected to be finalized shortly, perhaps by as early as next week.
Reiterating the terms of the deal, an investment group led by Joshua Harris from Apollo Management Group is buying 100% of the Sixers for a rumored $280 million from Comcast-Spectacor, without gaining either the Flyers of the Wells Fargo Centers, of which the Sixers will now be long term tenants of. The investment group also includes Art Wrubel, of Wesley Capital, Jason Levien, formerly a player agent and executive with the Sacramento Kings, and David Blitzer, an executive at the Blackstone Group. These are all personal investments, and would not include involvement from any of the aforementioned entities.
The only change from previous reports is the part that has Harris et al purchasing 100% of the team; previous reports suggested the sale was 90% of the team for the same $280 million.
This officially ends the tenure of Comcast-Spectacor’s ownership – a group seemingly committed to spending but not one to show much public care for the team: Chairman Ed Snider was thought to “not care” as much about the Sixers as he did the Flyers. While that may be true, that did not make him a “bad” owner. He was willing to spend and do what he can to improve the roster and team.
However, his bad appointments of GMs and coaches is what did this team in. The Sixers, under Snider and C-S, were always in the top half in spending on players. But he hired the wrong people who subsequently paid the wrong players. Remember the summer when Billy King gave Sam Dalembert, Willie Green, and Kyle Korver a combined $101 million over 16 years? Or when the team quit on Eddie Jordan before the regular season started? Ah, those were the days.
To me, you can only blame the ownership for putting the wrong people in place. They attempted to fix those problems. They paid as much in coaches’ salaries as anybody during the C-S years. They cycled through GMs and other front office people. It just never worked. And when the team became a big money loser, with parent company Comcast buying NBC and securing an Olympic’s contract, the Sixers were no longer a necessity in Comcast’s portfolio. The expensive toy, now sold, will belong to an ownership group with unquestionable wealth but questionable intentions. Let’s hope for the best.