Blazers: Owner Paul Allen Not Looking to Sell Team

by October 24, 2011

When labor talks broke down last week between players and owners, Paul Allen emerged as the boogeyman in the room. Despite rumors that he’s lost interest in owning the Portland TrailBlazers, the team insists that this is not the case. Per the Oregonian: “Blazers president Larry Miller rejected the contention, contained in one account of the Thursday mediation session on a national website, that Allen was positioning the team for sale. ‘Absolutely the team is not for sale,’ Miller said from New York, where he has been attending bargaining sessions as the team’s representative on the league’s labor relations committee. ‘Paul is just as committed to the team as he was when he purchased the team 23 years ago,’ Miller said. The Blazers and the NBA made Silver available for an interview in part to respond to stories written about Allen’s participation in Thursday’s negotiations. Silver is the league’s chief operating officer and is Commissioner David Stern’s top lieutenant. The NBA’s players and owners broke off negotiations Thursday on a new collective bargaining agreement after three consecutive days of meetings, prolonging the lockout that hit its 113th day Friday. No additional sessions have been scheduled and the league’s exhibition season and the first two weeks of the regular season have been canceled. Thursday’s negotiations marked the first time Allen that was reported to have been involved in the current CBA talks. Allen’s presence Thursday was partly coincidence, Miller and Silver said. He was in New York to attend the league’s Board of Governors meeting on Thursday morning, Silver said, and ‘that happened to fall on the same day as the negotiating session with the union.’ After the meeting, ‘We asked Paul if he was available to attend the mediation session in person,’ Silver said.”