Washington Wizards sale appears closer, more likely

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It’s not what’s being said, it’s who is doing the talking.

We’ve known for a month that the two sides in the sale of the Washington Wizards — the family of former owner Abe Pollin and incoming owner Ted Leonsis — had basically agreed to a price for the team and the Verizon Center. A cool $550 million.

But when that report first broke it was people talking off the record. Today it was the Pollin family talking to the Associated Press.

Leonsis, a former AOL executive, and the Pollins ran into some snags in talks this year. But in a statement Tuesday, Pollin’s sons, Robert and James, said they and their mother, Irene, congratulate Leonsis on this “near-final step in a long negotiation.”

“It’s not a ‘done, done’ deal, but it’s fairly close,” Robert Pollin said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “A signed deal should be a matter of days.”

Principles in a deal will not talk until things are so far along they can almost never go wrong. They are too cautious, to worried about things leaking that kill the deal. For the Pollin family to speak, it’s a sign that this is really all over but the fancy pens and a signing.

Congratulations Leonsis — you own the Washington Wizards. Good luck with that.