Price set for sale of Wizards, Verizon Center


Unlike the sale 3,000 miles away in the Bay Area, there are no real secrets about the sale of the Washington Wizards.

When owner Abe Pollin died it was already agreed his estate was going to try to sell the team and the building to Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Today they cleared one of the biggest hurdles, agreeing to a price — a cool $550 million, according to the Washington Post.

The sources cautioned that the deal could fall apart if the sides fail to reach agreement on other, non-financial issues such as the operations of the arena in the period before Leonsis takes control. But reaching a price was critical to clearing the way for Leonsis’s eventual ownership, sources said.

“The financial terms are tentatively agreed to,” said one high-level negotiator for the Pollin side, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of upsetting the talks. “In every complex legal agreement, there are significant non-financial terms. The parties are negotiating those in good faith. I certainly hope we will cross the finish line. But no guarantees.”

If this goes through, Leonsis will be one of the biggest power brokers in Washington sports. He will own the Wizards, the Capitals and the state-of-the-art building they play in (which also hosts some concerts and other events), as well as the WNBA’s Mystics.

Leonsis and Pollin had plans for this sale since Leonsis bought the Caps 11 years ago. That’s why he stuck with the Capitals despite a horrible revenue deal with the late Pollin — the Capitals saw no money from the luxury suits or club seats in the building. In modern hockey and basketball, those two areas along with sponsorships are the key economic drivers. Regular ticket sales matter, but suites are the backbone.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
Leave a comment

Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
Leave a comment

Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block: