Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 at 5:06 pm  |  25 responses

Report: 76ers Looking To Sell Team

by Eldon Khorshidi / @eldonadam

Numerous reports have surfaced that Philadelphia 76ers owner Comcast-Spectacor is in talks to sell the team, with a possible deal occuring as soon as this week. New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris is behind the acquisition, according to numerous sources. Within the reports are rumors that the 76ers, if sold, could be relocated to another city, potentially wiping away an eternal pool of memories. From Wilt Chamberlain to Julius Erving to Charles Barkley to Allen Iverson, the City of Brotherly Love has produced heroes, not just basketball stars. NBA.com has more:

“The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the deal with the group led by New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris is not yet complete. Comcast-Spectacor, led by chairman Ed Snider, has owned the Sixers since 1996, but the group’s chief operating officer confirmed Tuesday there are ongoing discussions about the team’s future. The person familiar with the deal said the Harris-led group was not the only bidder but is now the lead bidder, adding the deal has been in the works for several months. ESPN.com, citing unidentified sources, first reported the Sixers were close to being sold to Harris. The site noted another investor included in the deal is former NBA player agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien. The deal would need to be approved by the league’s Board of Governors. Comcast is the nation’s largest pay TV provider and the majority owner of media conglomerate NBC Universal. Comcast also owns the Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers and the stadium where both teams play, the Wells Fargo Center. NBC, now controlled by Comcast, retained its hold on U.S. Olympic television rights Tuesday in a four-games deal through 2020 worth $4.38 billion. Harris is one of three founders of Apollo Global Management, a publicly listed alternative investment manager. Harris, through an Apollo spokeswoman, declined comment. The 76ers were valued this year by Forbes at $330 million, 17th in the NBA. Comcast SportsNet spokeswoman Maureen Quilter said the 76ers have a deal with the station through 2029.

‘The thing that they’re buying is the cable,’ Forbes media executive editor Mike Ozanian said. ‘That’s the biggest part of the asset. It’s been undermonetized, the cable deal. They’ve got to get at least twice of what they’ve been getting. It’s under $13 million a year. They’ll have no problem. It’s pure profit because there’s no cost associated with that.’ Ozanian said even with a potential lockout looming, the timing could be right for a buyer to strike. ‘A labor stoppage can work to your advantage,’ he said. ‘If you believe they’re going to get a significantly lower salary cap, and a hard salary cap, it can be positive for team values and profits.’ Harris’ group would be purchasing a team that hasn’t won a championship since 1983. Philadelphia has won only one playoff series since losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2001 NBA finals. This year, the Sixers won 41 games and stretched the Miami Heat to a five-game playoff series in Doug Collins’ first season as coach.”

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  • http://Slamonline BossTerry

    This went from one of the most exciting franchises, to blah..

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    AI should buy them.
    “Happy Birthday to me!”

  • ripslam

    Are you kidding me? The Sixers are goddamn synonymous with NBA basketball.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    Another one bites the dust. If this goes through, that’s another part of my childhood gone. How many people today know who the Sonics are? SMDH

  • http://Slamonline BossTerry

    @1982- I think most of us on here do, except some of the new, jordan-hating knuckleheads that have found (slamonline) a new way to annoy people by the masses.. Now, who remembers the Vancouver Grizzlies??

  • SikhWitIt

    Move em to Seattle!

  • S_kemp

    didt know Wilt played for the sixers. man this would be an absolute travesty, the nba has to be careful with all this team movement, the history of the game is being tarnished , 20 years from now I dont wanna be watching the Boston Sonics v Vancouver Lakers in the finals! do something Sternbot!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    bring em to Vancouver lol

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    There’s no way the 76ers are leaving Philly. The hoops fans in that city aren’t some cupcake bandwagoners that would stand for that — there’d be blood in the streets before they took that franchise away.

  • Hussman25

    The Sixers will never be moved… Just hope the new owners love hoops and were not treated as “Step children” like Ed Snyder did to us… Just bought the Sixers to make money. Harold Katz is a D**k and will always be 1 & so is Snyder! Good Riddance!

  • Roy

    I’ll buy them

  • Groves

    i don’t like the 76ers. but philly needs the NBA and the NBA nedds philly. you can’t move them without losing part of the heart of the nba

  • SikhWitIt

    “didt know Wilt played for the sixers. man this would be an absolute travesty, the nba has to be careful with all this team movement, the history of the game is being tarnished , 20 years from now I dont wanna be watching the Boston Sonics v Vancouver Lakers in the finals! do something Sternbot!!”

    A guy who didn’t know Wilt played for the Sixers is afraid the history of the game is being tarnished lol! Can’t make this stuff up!

  • Eddie1

    I REMEMBER the Sonics. Back when they had MJ we was like Kings my dukes. Then they took away Jordan from our history. They then they took our team. Then my wife left me. And all I had was my will to live and a message to spread. Beware the illuminati. HOLLA CITY OF SQUALOR

  • http://Slamonline BossTerry

    *face palm

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Who remembers the Charlotte Hornets?

  • http://facebook.com philly mike

    We still have the Phillies,Eagles,and Flyers.All winners

  • NJ4Life

    Zo, LJ, Mugsy. Best court in the league too.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com TheBigL

    Put ‘em in Hartford. Vin Baker left that town wanting more.

  • JD

    theirs too much history in philly for any owner to think about moving the sixers

  • add

    the sixers will not move, THEY WILL NOT MOVE

  • SikhWitIt

    There was supposedly too much history in Seattle too; and don’t let your East coast biases tell you otherwise. Stern and the NBA don’t care about history, they care about $. Case closed.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Ef Dat!

  • coggie13

    I will cry.

  • Cris Jones

    @Philly Mike: you’ve gotta be kidding. “all winners??” I see a lot of my fellow Philly sports fans have gotten spoiled by the Phils’ recent succcess, and Andy Reid’s solid tenure. But historically? Pssh.