We interrupt your regularly scheduled baseball news to bring you some NBA news….
According to a Philadelphia Sports Daily article, the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers will likely be finalized by the end of the week. Comcast-Spectacor will be selling the team to an investment group led by Joshua Harris for what could be up to $280 million. Who is Joshua Harris you ask? According to the Philadelphia Sports Daily’s website, Harris went to the Wharton School of Business and is the co-founder of Apollo Management.
For years, Sixers fans, including myself, have blasted Cmcast Spectacor for not caring enough about the Sixers and putting all their eggs in the Flyers basket. Allowing this team to fall into mediocrity during the Iverson era and then eventually bottoming out two years ago is inexcusable for a team that at one point had the third highest winning percentage in NBA history. (Think about that for a second) Allowing Billy King, his idiotic extensions (Kenny Thomas, Eric Snow) and trades that were doomed from the start (Chris Webber, Derrick Coleman) to run the team for 9 years was idiotic. Letting Ed Stefanski, the man with no plan, continue to run the organization is befuddling, but at least they gave him help with Rod Thorn. A change was needed at the top and new ownership provides a breath of fresh air. There’s the good news. The bad news is thinking about the unknown plans of the new ownership. According to the Philadelphia Sports Daily article, the new owners plan to keep the Sixers in the Wells Fargo Arena and show games on Comcast Sportsnet, but that’s all we know. Does Joshua Harris see the city that was captivated by the 2001 Sixers or the city that currently leaves the Sixers 25th in attendance? Will Harris want to start over and rebuild? Is this team something he actually cares about or is it just a side project like it was for Ed Snider? Of course the NBA lockout takes care of any these answers for the time being, but it does make Sixers fans wonder.
Unfortunately, a new ownership means nothing at this time. It seems the NBA lockout is going to go on for a long time because of a broken financial system that saw at least 20 teams lose money last year. When the new CBA is eventually agreed upon, let’s hope a new ownership gives this organization some new signs of life and spends enough money and time to turn the team back to a contender again. When the Spurs came to town this year, there was a buzz in the arena. No, it wasn’t a sellout, but it was one of the biggest crowds of the year. It was a wonderful atmosphere and made me think out loud, what if it was like this every night?