Sixers sale approved and completed

The purchase of the Sixers by Joshua Harris (left) has been approved by the NBA.

The sale of the 76ers to a group headed by Joshua Harris was approved yesterday by the NBA Board of Governors, according to an NBA source.

The organization is expected to hold a press conference in Philadelphia sometime next week to formally announce the sale.

Though the NBA is currently in the midst of a lockout, Harris will now be able to fill in fans as to what his plans are with the future of the team, at least somewhat. Because of the lockout, Harris will not be alowed to discuss players or team personnel issues.

One of the bigger questions surrounding the team is if current general manager Ed Stefanski will hold on to that job title. Stefanski has interviewed with the Toronto Raptors and is said to be a leading candidate for their GM position. Stefanski is held in very high regard by coach Doug Collins, who came in last season and improved the team from 27 wins to 44 in his initial season.

Also, it has been reported that longtime forward Andre Iguodala was all but traded in a draft day deal, but that Harris and company would not approve that deal.

The sale price is $280 million and does not include the Wells Fargo Center, where the team will now become a tenant. The arena will remain owned by Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns the Flyers.

Harris, a co-founder of Apollo Global Management, bought the team from Comcast-Spectacor and chairman Ed Snider back in July. The new ownership also includes David Blitzer, a senior managing director of The Blackstone Group; former NBA player agent and Sacramento King executive Jason Levien; and Art Wrubel, who runs Wesley Capital in New York. Harris and Blitzer are both Wharton graduates.

The new group has hired travel industry executive Adam M. Aron as the team's chief executive officer, the Daily News reported in September. Aron is a senior operating partner at Apollo.

The NBA recently cancelled the first two weeks of the regular season. The Players' Association and the owners apprea to be miles apart in hopes of reaching any type of agreement. Stern said last night: "If we don't make a deal by Tuesday, my gut (feeling) is that we won't be playing on Christmas Day."

The two sides will meet with a federal mediator on Tuesday.