Ever since Bill Davidson passed away, it was assumed that his widow Karen would sell the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment, the company that runs the team its arena The Palace in Auburn Hills.
She said before she was exploring it, but she told the Detroit Free Press that the team is now officially for sale. Citigroup has been brought in to assess the fair value of the franchise, but Forbes estimated it at $479 million. Anything near that price would be a league record for the highest priced team sale (currently $401 million for the Phoenix Suns).
The only issue: Who wants to buy the team?
Apparently not Michael Ilitch, the pizza magnate who already owns the Tigers and Red Wings. A Detroit News story (via TrueHoop) details that corporate fighting between Palace Sports and Entertainment and Ilitch Holdings. That was behind a couple recent firings of long-time Pistons employees, and means the two likely cannot get together on a sale.
The Detroit News speculates at other owners who may have interest.
There are two men with Detroit ties who might be interested in buying the Pistons. Compuware owner Peter Karmanos has the cash and the incentive. His company headquarters is downtown and a downtown sports arena would benefit him and heighten his profile.
The other is Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. He cannot own two NBA teams, but Gilbert, an MSU graduate, might try to sell the Cavaliers if superstar LeBron James bolts for another team. In the past, he has expressed an interest in owning the Pistons.
All Karen Davidson said is that there is interest. There is no timeline, this sale could drag out a while.
Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.
There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?
Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:
Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game — but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.
In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.
Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.
That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.
If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.
First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.
Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.
Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.
Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.