Tag: Sixers

Sale of Philadelphia 76ers expected to be completed next week


Next Wednesday and Thursday, the NBA Board of Governors — all of the owners — are going to get together and most of the talk will be about labor deals and revenue sharing.

But there will be one other order of business — approving the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers to Joshua Harris and other investors, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. That means the owners will vote to do at least one thing during the meeting.

The details of the sale — the Sixers for $280 million, but not the Wells Fargo Center — was worked out months ago but the Board of Governors had not voted to approved the sale yet. They had a couple other things on their plate. They are expected to get around to it next week.

After that the ownership group will make its first public comments, although if the lockout is still in effect (as expected) it will be pretty dull as they won’t be able to talk players or much else on the basketball side of the equation.

Sixers outgoing owner says he was tired of losing money

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Philadelphia 76ers fans were high fiving each other when it was announced a few months back that Ed Snider and Comcast-Spectactor announced they were selling the team to Joshua Harris and a team of investors. Snider was seen as a guy who loved hockey and the Flyers, and happened to own the 76ers, too.

But Snider told the Associated Press it was not easy to sell the Sixers, but that the economics of the NBA forced his hand.

“It was mostly economics,” Snider said of the decision.

Losing money?

“A lot,” Snider said, declining specifics. “We felt that we had given it our best shot and it was time for someone else to take over.”

This is what owners have been saying — even ones in large cities and good sports towns like Philadelphia have trouble turning a profit. The Sixers should be able to make money. Of course, they have been mediocre and dull on the floor for nearly a decade (since the Allen Iverson led run to the finals) and that has not inspired fans to pack the arena or sponsors to flock to the team. Philly fans know their sports and are not going to pay big money for uninspired fare.

The sale of the team to Harris is expected to be approved by the other owners soon.

Snider and Comcast-Spectacor did not give up control of the Wells Fargo Center building, where the Sixers are tenants. The company is focusing more on that end of the business, which shows you where it thinks the profits are to be made.

Evan Turner likes his jump shot a lot more than he used to

Philadelphia 76ers v Chicago Bulls
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For a guy the 76ers pictured as their shooting guard of the future, Evan Turner struggled with the shooting part of that job his rookie year. He shot 37.1 percent from three to nine feet out, 37.6 percent form 10 to 15 feet, 37 percent from 16 feet to the arc and 31.8 percent from three.

So this summer, he has been reworking that jump shot (specifically where to place his guide hand).

Turner talked with Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer and spoke of the confidence that resulted from that work.

“I feel like I’m back to my old self. I feel like my new shot is smoother. I have a lot of confidence in it. It’s going well….

“Well, I knew I had a hitch in my shot. I just wanted to get it together. I didn’t want to shoot any balls short anymore. I wanted to understand the basic principles of jump shooting, all of that, what to look for. (Hall of fame coach Herb) Magee has been helping me out a lot.”

We’ll see how that translates into games. (Well, eventually we’ll see how it translates.) But Turner has put in the work and if the shot start to fall from the outside he can be a key fit next to Jrue Holiday in the back court (and let the Sixers keep bringing the game changing of Lou Williams off the bench).

Andre Iguodala and Doug Collins are all good. Seriously.

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat
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Why do you think Andre Iguodala and Doug Collins don’t get along? Because Iggy sounded like a guy who wanted out after the season? Because he’s been on the trade block? General body language?

You are way off base.

That’s what Iguodala himself is saying. He spoke with Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer and said it’s all good.

“We spoke, it was really brief. It was about 10 minutes, it wasn’t long: “What we can do to improve, what our plans are going forward. It wasn’t too much. But, I’ve never had a problem with Doug, so we made that clear that we never had issues. So we were good.”

Iggy is still on the block if another team has a good offer, but will anyone take on that contract (four years, $43.7 million remaining) under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement? Iggy is a very good player but sort of a No. 2 on an elite team (more Pau Gasol than Kobe Bryant, for example). But the Sixers can have a good team with him, Jrue Holiday, Elton Brand and a possibly improved Evan Turner (one can hope). I get why you might try to move him, but he’s not a guy to dump just to dump. The Sixers can be good with him.

Get to know me: Joshua Harris (soon to be 76ers owner)

Joshua Harris

This has been the general reaction of Sixers fans to the team being sold (the other NBA owners just need to approve it): “Good, Ed Snider only cared about hockey… wait, who is buying the team?”

The answer is Joshua Harris.

Which leads to the next question, who is Joshua Harris?

Kate Fagan delves into that over at the Philadelphia Inquirer in a post every 76ers fan should read. Philly fans may not know the guy, but they are going to like him.

Harris, head of the investment group whose ownership of the 76ers is pending approval by the NBA board of governors, seems like a man with few weaknesses: He’s a billionaire, a respected businessman, a family man, and an athlete – not necessarily listed in order of importance.

He ran the 2010 New York City Marathon in a time of 3 hours, 53 minutes, 41 seconds. He has five children with his wife, Marjorie. According to Forbes, he’s worth $1.2 billion. He recently attended his 20-year reunion for Harvard Business School and came across as the same guy he was back in the days when M.C. Hammer was cool and when Harris couldn’t afford to buy a small country: kind, down-to-earth, charming, clearly the smartest in a room filled with intelligence.

Harris also attended Penn in the mid-1980s, when the Sixers won the NBA title, and that’s when he became a Sixers fan (and Philly sports fan generally). He now rums a private equity firm — Apollo Global Management — but he is buying the team with a group of investors, not with the firm (as happened with Tom Gores in Detroit).

It’s interesting that he has largely avoided the spotlight for a guy who has amassed more than $1 billion in wealth. The Sixers purchase is really his first move that will generate headlines with his name in them. Read the entire profile, he sounds like an interesting man. And Sixers fans will like what they read.

“I can’t see him using this as a toy or a status symbol or some kind of crown jewel to illustrate his success to people or to himself,” (college friend Scott) Stewart said. “He’s a serious businessman, and he wants to make it a serious success. Is this a toy? No. There’s just no way. . . . The way to be successful in this case in the NBA is to win NBA championships. It’s a very definitive and tangible goal. His track record of success would lead you to believe that that’s his ambition with the team: not only to win one but win multiple.”