Archive: October, 2011
Today was an important day in the history of the 76ers franchise. Comcast-Spectacor has officially sold the team to a new ownership group, which is led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris and includes a handful of other investors including David Blitzer, Art Wrubel, Jason Levien, Martin Geller, David Heller, Travis Hennings, James Lassiter, Marc Leder, Michael Rubin, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Handy Soetedjo, and Erick Thohir.
That's a lot of names on the ownership group list, but there are some key ones to remember: Harris is the managing owner of the team. Blitzer will serve as co-managing owner. Adam Aron is the new chief executive officer of the team. And Levien provides some of the basketball insight because he's a former NBA agent and assistant general manager of the Sacramento Kings.
A lot of the info covered during today's press conference has been known for the last three months as we awaited closure of the sale of the team (approximately $280 million for 100 percent of the franchise, not including the Wells Fargo Center). But the new ownership group did make a splash with a few changes, price reductions on tickets, as well as expressing their focus on open commmunication with the fan base.
The 76ers have issued a release stating they have a "major announcement" they will make tomorrow at The Palestra. As reported at the end of last week, Comcast-Spectacor's sale of the Sixers has been approved by the NBA's Board of Governors.
Tomorrow's announcement will be the introduction of the new ownership group, led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris. Harris and his investment group have purchased the Sixers for approximately $280 million. Terms of the sale were agreed to in July and have been pending the NBA's approval since.
The NBA is currently mired in a labor dispute; the league has already canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, which was scheduled to tip off Nov. 1.
Comcast-Spectacor's sale of the 76ers has been approved by the NBA's Board of Governors, confirmed an NBA source.
As reported in Friday's Inquirer, the sale is expected to officially close next week, with the new ownership likely speaking publicly next week. The new ownership group is led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris; the group bought the Sixers for approximately $280 million.
Terms of the sale were agreed upon by both sides in July and the deal has since been waiting for NBA approval.
Twitter: Deep Sixer.
This summer has been about numbers and money and negotiations, rarely about analysis and how this lockout will affect, specifically, the 76ers. And this summer has almost never been about basketball. It's never been about Jrue Holiday's outside shot or Nikola Vucevic's up-and-under move (does he have an up-and-under move?) or the targeted free-agent center who was supposed to slip into the starting role for the Sixers. Talking about these things would be like discussing the meal selection while the plane's engine is failing. (Of course, this analogy only works if applied to air travel from about a decade ago, when they still served meals to their customers.)
We can't know for sure how this lengthy lockout, the missed regular season games, will impact the Sixers. But, after a summer devoid of any discussion, and with the NBA going dark for the forseeable future, we can toss around a few ideas. We wish these ideas were, say, the potential starting lineup for the team's first pre-season game, but that's not reality right now. The NBA is in a bad place, which we tried to discuss during last night's post (Bad, bad place), but which we'll try to frame more positively today. Some thoughts, some overlapping each other, not all of them bad, some of them actually good, but all in all a collection about the state of the NBA, the state of the Sixers on the morning after cancelling regular season games.
The NBA and the NBA Players Association have reached the 11th hour. Tonight's negotiating session in New York is essentially the final effort before the NBA will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season. The two sides -- each represented by much smaller factions than some of the recent meetings -- met for six hours on Sunday night. Upon emerging from that bargaining session, neither side would comment except to say a deal wasn't reached and they would meet again on Monday night. After last week's meeting, NBA commissioner David Stern cancelled the remainder of the pre-season and said that if a deal wasn't reached (in structure, if not on paper) by Monday, he would be forced to cancel the first two weeks of the regular season. The NBA will hold off as long as possible before making that move because each chunk of cancellation is costing the league approximately $200 million. So if there is even the outside chance that a deal is on the horizon, that first chunk of cancellation will be delayed.
Tonight's bargaining session will likely either result in the aforementioned move for cancellation (which means we know each side has dug in its heels) or a delay in that announcement (which might mean a reason for hope).
Since the NBA first imposed the lockout on July 1, the two sides have really closed what was an enormous gap. If you're interested in the financials of the bargaining session and precisely where the two sides currently stand and exactly how a deal can be reached, check out this piece by CBS's Ken Berger, who has attended pretty much every bargaining session since this started: A potential deal.
Monday afternoon's meeting in New York dashed whatever hope remained that the NBA and the NBA Players Association could come to an agreement and save the start of the regular season.
Immediately after the end of today's meeting, which ended around 9:30 p.m, the NBA officially cancelled the first two weeks of the regular season. NBA commissioner David Stern said that those games were officially cancelled, not postponed, meaning the NBA would not try to cram all 82 games into a shortened season. Regular season games through Nov. 14 have been cancelled.
The two sides parted ways in New York without scheduling the next bargaining session and Stern said that the owners' proposals will get worse from this moment forward as the owners will have to account for money lost because of game cancellation.
First, if you follow on Twitter (@deepsixer3), then you already received the minute-by-minute blow of what went down during today's crucial negotiating session in NYC. If you don't, what follows is the synopsis.
After today's bargaining session between the NBA and the NBA Players Association, and after a failure to reach a deal, the NBA officially cancelled the remainder of the pre-season. In addition, NBA commissioner David Stern said that if a deal isn't reached by Monday, Oct. 10, that the NBA will be forced to also cancel the first two weeks of the regular season. Considering that the two sides parted company this evening with no further meetings scheduled, the likelihood of a deal being reached by Monday is slim to none.
Today's meeting began at a NYC hotel around 1:15, about 75 minutes after its scheduled start. The two sides decided that there was no reason to continue meeting (although the NBA side says it was the players side saying there was no point in continued talks) around 5:30 or so. According to Stern, the bargaining session was ended by the players after the two sides agreed to "informally" discuss the possibility of a 50-50 revenue split. As Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver explain it, in a small meeting between key people from each side, the NBA and the union informally discussed the "what if" concept of selling their respective sides on the idea of a 50-50 split. The two smaller groups parted ways to see what their side would say about this "concept." While Stern and Silver were convincing the owners about a 50-50 split (both Stern and Silver made it clear the owners would have done 50-50), the players knocked at the door, pulled Stern and Silver outside, and said there was no chance of a deal at 50-50. Furthermore, as Stern explained it, the players made it clear there was no reason to continue today's discussions, specifically because the players were holding firm at 53 percent.