Sources: Nike’s Knight makes offer to buy Blazers


Nike founder Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Alan Smolinisky have delivered a written provide of greater than $2 billion to buy Portland Trail Blazers and are in severe talks to amass the staff, sources advised ESPN on Thursday.

Knight and Smolinisky have been engaged in discussions with the Paul Allen Belief that is overseeing the franchise and people talks are deliberate to proceed, sources mentioned.

Knight’s deep ties to the area — each with Nike and his assist of his alma mater, the College of Oregon — mirror the possible possession group’s need to maintain the staff in Portland for the long-term, sources mentioned.

Allen’s sister, Jody, has been managing the belief since her brother’s dying in October of 2018. The idea has lengthy been {that a} sale of each the Blazers and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks are a part of an eventual plan for the belief.

Portland is taken into account one of many league’s smaller media market groups however has a protracted historical past of rabid fan assist and regular-season and playoff success. Forbes valued the Path Blazers at $2.05 billion in its 2021 rankings, making it the thirteenth most respected franchise within the NBA.

One other small market staff, the Minnesota Timberwolves, lately offered for a valuation of $1.6 billion.

Knight, 84, is taken into account one of many Prime 25 richest folks in the USA, value north of $50 billion. He was born in Portland, graduated from the College of Oregon and stepped down as chairman and CEO of Nike in 2016 after 52 years working the corporate.

Smolinisky joined the Dodgers as a restricted companion in 2019. He has been profitable in business actual property and investing.

The Blazers are present process a franchise makeover on the basketball aspect, together with first-year basic supervisor Joe Cronin and a second-year coach Chauncey Billups.

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