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June 25, 2022

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NBA commissioner weighs in on Phil Knight’s bid to buy Blazers

Blazers’ statement said team not for sale

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SAN FRANCISCO — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he believes the Portland Trail Blazers will be sold.

The question is when.

ESPN and other outlets reported Thursday that Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinisky made an offer to buy the Blazers for more than $2 billion.

The Blazers then released a statement saying the team is not for sale.

The Blazers remain owned by the Paul G. Allen Trust, after the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft died nearly four years ago. Allen’s sister, Jody Allen, is the trustee of the estate.

“At some point, the team will be sold,” Silver said at his annual NBA Finals address Thursday prior to Game 1. “I don’t have any sense of the precise timing. I read that same statement today in which she or someone on behalf of the estate said the team is not currently for sale. But at some point it will be for sale. This is a hugely a complex estate, and although it’s been several years, these things take time.”

Silver said the NBA’s preference, and his own hope, is that the Blazers — whenever they are sold — remain in Portland.

The belief has long been that sales of the Blazers and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks are part of an eventual plan for the trust.

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