Paul Allen

Trail Blazers now said to be worth $1.85 billion -- and Jody Allen is going to sell

Trail Blazers now said to be worth $1.85 billion -- and Jody Allen is going to sell

This story about the values of NBA franchises didn’t get a lot of attention when it came out, but it’s worthy of an examination locally, as far as the future of the Trail Blazers is concerned.

First off, it’s incredible how much the league’s franchises have risen in value. The real worth of these teams has always been based on the rapid financial appreciation of them, rather than the yearly cash they produce.

People want to own these teams. They are becoming the rich person’s toy of choice. And they just happen to rise in value very rapidly. But since they don't often come up for sale, the sale price tends to grow to heights that might seem to be out of proportion.

Can you imagine that the team with the highest value in the league is the New York Knicks and that dumpster fire is worth $4.6 billion? That’s two hundred million more than the Lakers are valued.

The Trail Blazers are now listed as being worth $1.85 BILLION. That’s incredible to me for a team not located in one of the nation’s media centers.

And it reinforces something that I’ve been saying for months now:

Jody Allen is going to sell this team. I’m not sure when, because it probably has to await the untangling of all of Paul Allen’s assets.

How big of a basketball fan do you have to be, to not want to sell an asset worth that many stacks of cash? A lot bigger than she is, I’m guessing.

Come on, I enjoy the sport and have always thought about what it would be like to own a team.

But around $2 BILLION????? No thanks. I will sell the team, get myself courtside seats for life, charter private planes to watch the games, if I so desire. And then enjoy enough money that will ensure not only the rest of my life, but the lives of anybody and everybody else I’d like to take care of forever.

Her brother, Paul, was the basketball fan and she was never into it as much as he was. I just don’t see how anyone would see the benefit of holding onto a financial bonanza of that degree just to say they own a team.

And yes, the value could go up even more, but it could also drop if the TV deals go down in value, as is possible. And even without the basketball team, I’m certain she will still have plenty of money.

But to sit on a mountain of cold cash like this one, when it could be used for so many other things that she might enjoy more, seems silly.

The people operating this franchise have always assured everyone that it isn’t for sale, but I think that’s what you have to say in order to keep potential free agents, advertisers, sponsors and even fans comfortable with their investment in the team. Nobody wants the uncertainty that a public “for sale” sign might bring.

And going public isn’t necessary. There are still enough potential interested parties who want to own a team that they can be found on the down low. Nobody knew Paul Allen was buying the team until he sat down at his first news conference.

I expect the same thing to happen in the next year or two -- only Jody Allen isn’t likely to be there.

But she’s going to sell. And you can take that to the bank.

Social media reacts as Seattle Seahawks induct Paul Allen into prestigious Ring of Honor

Social media reacts as Seattle Seahawks induct Paul Allen into prestigious Ring of Honor

Paul Allen’s impact in the Pacific Northwest will forever be remembered. He knew that computers would change the world, so he helped co-found Microsoft. He had a passion for helping others, so he pursued initiatives and projects around science, artificial intelligence and the arts.

He also knew the impact that sports had on the greater community, so he saved football in Seattle. Following Allen's purchase of the Seahawks, Seattle has reached the postseason 13 times, won nine division titles, enjoyed nine seasons with 10 or more wins, played in three Super Bowls and brought the Lombardi Trophy to Seattle for the first time in Super Bowl XLVIII. 

So it was only fitting that on Thursday, in front of a crowd of 12s, that Allen was inducted into the prestigious Ring of Honor as the 12th member. His sister, Jody, raised the 12 flag just moments before the Seahawks kicked off against division rivals, the Los Angeles Rams. 

Here’s a look at how fans, media and the greater sports community reacted to Allen’s special moment.

[READ: Paul Allen takes his rightful place in the Seahawks Ring of Honor]

Paul Allen's yacht 'Octopus' is on the market for a cool $325 million

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USA Today Images

Paul Allen's yacht 'Octopus' is on the market for a cool $325 million

There’s a yacht and then there’s Paul Allen’s yacht.

This is no ordinary yacht. GreekWire is reporting that the superyacht 'Octopus,' which has belonged for years to the late Trail Blazers owner, is now on the market.

The 414-foot mega yacht is listed for a whopping $325 million.

According to the listing with Burgess Yachts, Octopus can accommodate up to 26 guests in 13 cabins, along with 63 crew members across 30 cabins. Octopus has eight decks including a dedicated owner’s deck and a private elevator.

The main deck is all about entertainment with a movie theater, gym, spa, and observation lounge.

And then, of course, the basketball court is on the deck below.

As if that’s not enough, you will also find a glass-bottomed underwater observation lounge, a bridge deck pool with a pizza oven, storage for two helicopters along with two submersibles and a large SUV, and two helipads.

Allen had once called Octopus “too big.”

As an NBA fan, Paul Allen would’ve been “especially excited” about the upcoming season

As an NBA fan, Paul Allen would’ve been “especially excited” about the upcoming season

'Do it for Mr. Allen.'

That was a statement made many times over the 2018-19 season by the Trail Blazers coaching staff, players, and fans.

It was during the preseason slate last year, when Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen went public about his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that he was treated for in 2009 had returned.

The Trail Blazers owner then passed away at the age of 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma just weeks later, and just three days before the Blazers regular season tipped off against the Lakers.

Win the season opener, have a successful season, and an impressive late playoff run. Check, check, and check.

The Blazers had more to play for with their owner passing. 

The season came to an end with a Western Conference Finals run that hadn’t been done in 20 years for the Trail Blazers franchise.

It was and still is heartbreaking to think about how Allen was not on the baseline celebrating during his team’s postseason run.

Fast forward to the end of July. It’s now hard not to think about how excited Allen would be about what the Blazers were able to accomplish this summer. 

[RELATED]: Neil Olshey -- Trail Blazers upgrade personnel, but philosophy remains the same

This week, the Trail Blazers held a press conference to announce CJ McCollum officially signing his three-year contract extension with Portland.

Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey spoke to the media on Wednesday in depth about how thankful he is for Paul’s sister Jody Allen with her support this summer.

“I just want to thank Jody Allen publicly for all of her support this offseason," Olshey said. “The resources she’s provided, she’s largely responsible for what we’ve been able to accomplish this offseason in terms of building this roster to the point where we think we probably have the most competitive roster we’ve had in our seven-year tenure.”

On Wednesday, Olshey offered up his thoughts on how he believes Paul Allen would be feeling after the summer that Olshey and Jody were able to put together.

“[Paul] had such a sense of history for our process to a certain degree,” Olshey said. “He never forgot a guy that we liked on our draft board, guys that we pursued in free agency, he was always a part of that process, he was a part of major pitches that we had in the past.

I think this summer would’ve been especially intriguing to him, because there were so many guys, you know, locking up two of our greatest draft picks with Dame [Lillard] and CJ, guys that have grown organically here, on top of bringing guys in that we had chased as free agents, and the timing just didn’t work out the last time, but to have them now be on our roster at a time where we’re coming off our most successful postseason run as an organization in the last 20 years, I think he really would’ve embraced that.”

There’s no doubt that his summer was a summer of chasing players that the Blazers had previously wanted in free agency.

Kent Bazemore.

Mario Herzonja.

Hassan Whiteside.

Allen would’ve loved landing these guys now that the situation was right for all involved.

“Paul was a big name awareness guy,” Olshey said. “He always got excited about guys that he could point to previous accomplishments, whether it was for us or for other places because he really was a fan of the NBA and he liked the history of the league. He watched games, and he watched draft footage, and when we would go after free agents he would watch tape on those guys and do research... So I think this summer would be especially exciting for him because there’s such a sense of history with the guys, Kent Bazemore and Hassan, Mario we pursued. Having a future Hall of Famer join us as the last roster spot in Pau, it’s reminiscent of some of the things [the Blazers] had done in the past."

Olshey believes Allen would’ve been particularly partial to the Pau Gasol signing.

“Adding a Scottie Pippen later in his career, or a Rod Strickland… Guys like that are legends in this league, that really excited Paul that they would wear a Trail Blazer uniform.”

[RELATED]: CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard's special relationship has McCollum eyeing NBA Finals

Olshey did joke, however, Allen probably wouldn’t have enjoyed waiting to sign Gasol until late July.

“I don’t know if he would’ve had the patience to wait until the third week of July to sign Pau for the last spot,” Olshey said with a smile.

“Or until July 27th to extend CJ. He would’ve been wondering why… on July 1st or June 30th I wasn’t doing all of it at once,” Olshey continued.

But one thing is certain when reflecting on the Blazers summer of 2019:

“[Paul] would’ve enjoyed it and he would’ve been excited about the season,” Olshey said.

Trail Blazers missed “this infusion of energy” on draft night without the late Paul Allen

Trail Blazers missed “this infusion of energy” on draft night without the late Paul Allen

He was the owner of the Trail Blazers and Seahawks.

He was the co-founder of Microsoft.

He was a humanitarian and philanthropist.

But for the late Paul Allen, one of the biggest joys in his life was being a part of the NBA Draft process in Portland.

For recent Portland Trail Blazers fans, they will remember the Blazers late owner sitting on the baseline near the Blazers bench at Moda Center with his pinwheel baseball cap propped atop his head.

What fans may not remember is Mr. Allen sitting in the Blazers draft room each and every year, deliberating over every possible scenario, constantly trying to help build for the future of the team.

Allen passed away from cancer on October 15th, 2018 at the age of 65. Just three days before his team tipped off the regular season at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.  

June 20th, 2019 marked the first NBA Draft with no Paul Allen in Portland’s ‘war room’ in over 30 years.

After the Trail Blazers selection was locked in at No. 25 with Nassir Little out of North Carolina, Portland’s General Manger Neil Olshey spoke with the local media.

Olshey spoke on the emotions of a draft day without Allen.

“It’s hard. Look, as ecstatic as he would’ve been sitting courtside with us going to the Western Conference Finals and seeing that plan that was put in place four years ago when we kind of reset the roster, nothing made him happier than being in this room tonight,” Olshey said with a smile.

Allen was known for watching plenty of game film and diligently doing his homework on potential prospects.  He was all about making sure to draft the right player.

Olshey couldn’t help but think about how different this draft was in comparison to previous “energetic” Paul Allen infused drafts.

“It really was a different experience for us today without Paul [saying] ‘can we get him?  Oh get him!  Move up!  Can we buy a second [round pick]?  Go ahead buy a second, give them $4 million, give them $5 million,’ and no matter what the plan was going in, Paul always said he was an ‘all of the above’ guy. ”

Paul’s sister, Jody Allen, who now owns the Trail Blazers, was kept up-to-date on this year’s draft prospects and the Blazers draft board of whom they liked in this year’s class.

“We sent our stuff to Jody last night and said this our order, this is how we’re going to go, we’re locked in at 25 if we don’t make a move and we played it by that script,” Olshey said.

But draft day definitely was not the same for Olshey and his staff because there was no Paul Allen going through his typical draft day routine.

“Paul would come, he’d stop at the Pancake House and he’d have his pancakes and apple fritter, and he’d get here around 10am. We’d find a bunch of guys to get in the room, we’d sit here and watch film with him. He loved watching tape,” Olshey said.

“Then he would get bored with us and he’d shoot off to Powell’s [Bookstore] for a couple of hours. He had his routine and it was just fun and it kept us engaged,” Olshey added.

Allen purchased the Trail Blazers in 1988. He was just 35 years old. He became the youngest team owner in the four major professional sports leagues.

Allen’s had been enjoying the draft process ever since.

Olshey and his staff definitely felt Allen’s absence.

“It was different and I think everybody in the room felt a huge void. It just didn’t have the same energy,” Olshey said.

Allen’s energy was missing.

“You spend two months working on it after the season and you’re battling and you’re grinding out the board and you’re watching tape… After all, you do your board, right?  And then there was always this infusion of energy when Paul came in and you had to almost start from scratch because he liked the action,” Olshey said.

Olshey summed it up simply with, “It just sucks, the way things have gone over the last nine months [getting to the Western Conference Finals], he deserved [to see] that.”

In the end, this 2019 draft ended with Portland snagging a projected lottery pick at No. 25.

There’s no doubt Mr. Allen would be pleased.

CJ McCollum, team culture carry Trail Blazers to Western Conference finals

CJ McCollum, team culture carry Trail Blazers to Western Conference finals

DENVER – This amazing, incredible Sunday afternoon triumph – Trail Blazer owner Jody Allen called it “gritty” in her passionate speech to the Trail Blazers in their locker room – that vaulted Portland into the Western Conference finals against Golden State was a long time coming.

And it had so much to do with the team’s culture, its pride and its unwillingness to quit. And oh yes, CJ McCollum was other-worldly. And staff, front office, coaches – everyone there in the team’s family – was celebrating hard in the locker room and its vicinity when it ended.

“It speaks to the character of our organization and what we’ve become,” said Damian Lillard, after his team rallied from a 17-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Nuggets 100-96. “Obviously, we had the roster turnover four years ago and everybody was quick to shoot us down, count us out.

“And at that point, we didn’t know for sure what direction we were going to go in. But we definitely leaned on the culture that we wanted to create – doing things the right way, working hard, being about each other, not being about one guy or two guys. I think we really built that up from the jump. And to have that, it takes everybody – not just the players. You’ve got to have the coaches, the training staff, the front office, the security, everybody who is with us there every day. The PR staff – everybody we see every day.

“Everybody is invested in what we created,. I think when we come out on top in game like this, a tough series like this, you see it in everybody’s celebration.

“It’s exciting because we all play a part in it. You don’t just create this type of thing with just the players. It takes everybody to be all in. And that’s what it was tonight.”

Lillard was only 3-17 from the field but had 10 rebounds and eight assists to go with 13 points. McCollum carried the heavy scoring burden with 37 points on 17=29 shooting and he added nine rebounds.

But as Lillard said, even when Rodney Hood was lost for the game with a hyper-extended knee, the team got major contributions from Zach Collins, Enes Kanter, Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard.

Leonard, who arrived in Portland the same season as Lillard, was visibly emotional in the locker room.

“Emotional and happy,” he said. “This is surreal, man. This is seven years in the making. I was just talking to Dame. We were horrible our rookie year, then we were a 50-win playoff team two years in a row, then we decided to blow it up. We continued to bring in guys who wanted to work, who were good people, who were true professionals, who understood what we wanted.

“Then we go to the second round, then we get swept by the Warriors, then we get swept by New Orleans. All with the same team – almost the same people. Yet, we came out on the other end of it that much better. And that’s the most amazing thing about this team.

“We’ve added some guys but this has been an incredible run. But we’re not done yet. I’ve said this, I had a quote the other night, people from the outside looking in don’t know about this locker room and what we’ve been through.

“Every single guy is ready to play at any given moment. Every single guy wants the next guy to do well. And this has been a special run and this is a special team. There’s just been a lot of things that have happened – us getting swept, Mr. Allen’s passing, Nurk’s injury, I can go on down the line. There’s just been things that you would have thought would have knocked us out, that we would have thrown in the towel.

“But we haven’t. I would tell you, I’m a big communicator on the bench,. And I’ve never been around a group of guys that believes so much. And I’m a big believer, also.

“Even when we were down 17, I wasn’t worried because this is just a special team and guys that know how to get it done. It’s unbelievable.

“Maybe in the morning I will wake up and understand what happened but you should have seen us – staff, front office, coaches, players, everybody from top to bottom so happy for each other. This is a truly special team and special organization.

“People care and people work together. (Jody Allen) spoke really well. She was passionate, told us how immensely proud she is of us, the way we played with heart and determination and grit, that she’s proud to be a part of it.

“I thought that was pretty special considering everything that’s happened.”

Bert Kolde has been a part of the organization since his friend, Paul Allen, bought the team in 1988. Allen lost his battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in October and his sister, Jody, took over at the helm of the team.

“It’s been a legendary playoff run,” Kolde said after leaving the locker room celebration. “A magic carpet ride. And I feel that Paul’s spirit is watching over us. It’s special. It feels really special.”

Portland caught up with the Nuggets at the end of the third quarter and took a brief one-point lead but Denver led by a point heading into the final quarter, when the winners outscored the Nuggets 29-24.

McCollum had a chase-down block of a breakaway layup after Seth Curry went low to force the shot up high and that was a big play in the period.

“He put it right there for me and I just went and got it, ‘Bron-style,’” McCollum said. “Shout-out to my guy Bron (LeBron James). It was a mini-version of LeBron’s block on Iggy a few years ago. It’s something we will remember forever. I might have to get a picture of that one.”

Turner iced the game with two clutch foul shots with eight seconds on the clock.

“Pressure can cut pipes or make diamonds,” Turner said later. “So we never thought we were going to lose or anything like that.”

Ahead are the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, in a series that beings Tuesday in Oakland. But I doubt the Trail Blazers will be intimidated.

“Jody told the team, it’s been a great season – SO FAR,” Kolde said with a smile.

Her late brother couldn’t have said it any better.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll reflects on his time working for Paul Allen

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USA Today

Seattle coach Pete Carroll reflects on his time working for Paul Allen

Seattle coach Pete Carroll's final press conference before his team headed into an off week was to have been mostly about his team winning three of four games to get back to .500.

Instead, on Tuesday morning, Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen passed away at the age of 65 from complications with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leaving Carroll somewhat stunned just like the rest of the sports world. 

“We’ve all been deeply moved by the sudden passing of our owner, Paul Allen," Carroll told reporters. "We’re still in the midst of dealing with all of the emotions and the concerns and all that come to you immediately at a time like this."

Carroll went on to talk fondly about Allen and their relationship. Before, however, he spoke about how many close to Allen wondered how he health was after he recently announced that his lymphoma had returned. 

"He had become unable to do some of the things that he had normally been able to do in travel and going to the games and things like that because of his illness, so there were some signs in that regard," Carroll said. "He was weakened. Yeah, he was weakened. Still, it happened very suddenly.”

Carroll, hired by Seattle in 2010 out of USC, said Allen created an atmosphere conducive to being innovative and aggressive in the pursuit of rebuilding the Seahawks.

“He was able to pass along the spirit that now we know, of wanting to go for it and kind of no-holes-barred and he was going to clear it for us to have a great chance to do great things," Carroll said. "He wanted to win championships and that’s what he was all about. He wasn’t going to let anything get in the way and he was really clear about that."

Carroll recalled how Allen would be willing to authorize nearly anything that would help the team be successful. He said he would miss Allen's spirit and vision.  

"He didn’t want you to hold back," Carroll said. "He wanted, at all times, to be pushing ahead and that’s all we could ever hope for. He was not a hands-on owner but his spirit was on everything that we’re doing and the message was clear about how he wanted us to go about our business.”

Carroll said Allen would be quite curious about the team and have pregame conversations with the coach. 

“He just wanted to know how much we were going to blitz or if we had any trick plays and stuff, basically," Carroll said. "By that time, that close to game time, there would always be questions about guys who were hurt or healthy and all that kind of stuff. Always wanted to know about the quarterback and what we were hoping to do and how we were going to defend the other quarterback, so it was pretty basic fundamental stuff that a fan would want to know going into the game if they could ask the head coach.”

Carroll recalled how Allen, who so desperately wanted to win a NBA title with the Trail Blazers, was very happy to get a Super Bowl title with the Seahawks following the 2013 season in a win over Denver in New Jersey. 

"He wanted to be a champion and to be up on the stage with him in the crowd and the confetti’s flying and all that, and to just be there with him – that’s my favorite moment with Paul," Carroll said.

Later that night, Allen entertained with his guitar playing that has been praised by the likes of legendary music producer Quincy Jones.

"Now, there was a great moment later on that night when he was on stage and he was playing (the guitar)," Carroll said. "He was hitting it and he thought he was Eddie Vedder or something up there. He was going. I think that was the great moment that we got to share. He got to have it because you can have all the money in the world, but it’s really hard to have that world championship and it meant everything to him. To be able to share that with him was amazing.”

The team, Carroll said, would continue to be influenced by Allen's legacy. 

"We’re going to battle for him," Carroll said. "You’re either competing or you’re not. That’s kind of the way I think we can best give tribute to what he would want us to do. I’d love to live in his image of wanting to win championships and keep moving forward and do great things. I don’t see any reason why that’s not still out there, we’re going for it. I feel pretty good about telling you that that’s how we’re going about it.”

--- Aaron Fentress covers the Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks for NBCSportsNorthwest. You can follow him on Twitter Facebook and Instagram

Stories of Paul Allen: The game that meant so much to him

Stories of Paul Allen: The game that meant so much to him

It was a day of sharing stories and remembering Trail Blazers' owner, the late Paul Allen.   

This week’s podcast is a very special one. Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey and Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan held a press conference to share stories about Allen.

With the Blazers owner passing away this week, Olshey and McGowan discussed how Allen was a different type of owner who loved this team and this city.

Passionate about everything

Allen always wanted to talk hoops, whether it was about the Trail Blazers or any other NBA team that he may be watching at the time, but as McGowan touched on, Allen was always passionate about art, whether that was music or any other creative endeavor he was involved in over the years.

Allen came to McGowan years ago and said there needs to be a place where young Blazer fans can go to be creative at the Moda Center and thus, the “Kid Zone” in the 300 level was developed. 

A super fan

Sitting baseline with Allen at the Moda Center for Blazer games was "unique" situation for Olshey. “He was rooting for all of them to accomplish something,” Olshey said. It was a time for Olshey and Allen to catch up with each other, but it was a time for Allen to also be a super fan.

Day-to-day operations doesn’t change

McGowan let everyone know that Allen has entrusted him and Olshey to continue operating as they had been and try to get back to “business as usual” since opening night is just a couple of days away.

This season can be attribute to Mr. Allen

Olshey talked about how everyone in the practice facility was here because of Paul Allen- whether he hired them, drafted them, signed them or traded for them and the players are ready to go out and have a successful season to honor their late owner.

Hear from Olshey and McGowan right here on this special Scoop Podcast with the link below.

Download the brand new MyTeams app today - This is THE app for everything Blazers: games, highlights, articles, podcasts and more from your trusted NBC Sports Northwest Blazers team.

 

Throwback: Dwight Jaynes 1 on 1 with Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen talking Meyers Leonard and CJ McCollum

Throwback: Dwight Jaynes 1 on 1 with Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen talking Meyers Leonard and CJ McCollum

Monday was a sad day in Rip City with the passing of owner Paul Allen. 

The video above is a Dwight Jaynes favorite, a rare 1 on 1 interview with Allen from July 14th, 2013 in Las Vegas at the NBA Summer League. 

Allen talks about two players who are very familiar to Blazer fans of present day... Meyers Leonard and his improvement from his first summer league to his second as well as how badly they wanted CJ McCollum in '13 draft. 

The gold standard of owners, Paul Allen loved hoops and his Blazers

The gold standard of owners, Paul Allen loved hoops and his Blazers

Nobody knew it at the time, but 30 years ago, the then-owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, Beverly Hills real estate developer Larry Weinberg, was quietly searching for someone to buy the team.

He knew he had the right man when he met Paul Allen, then a relatively unknown former Microsoft founder.

“He was the ideal buyer,” Weinberg said Monday. “A humble guy. And at that time he was driving around in an old car with a basketball in the backseat.”

Weinberg sold the team to Allen, who lost his fight Monday with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But back then, when Allen bought the Trail Blazers, it shocked the city. Who was this man from Seattle, buying an NBA team at the age of 35?

The answer to that question doesn’t come easy, even now. Allen was not a very public person. He didn’t seek the spotlight and at times seemed to dodge it. But there are things we do know:

  • He first defeated Hodgkin’s disease in his 30s and that fight led to his leaving Microsoft and looking to enjoy his life more – which fueled the passion to own a basketball team.
  • There is no question he loved basketball -- and the Trail Blazers. In the early days, when he was perhaps closer to the team than he was in recent years, he was known for inviting Kiki Vandeweghe and Clyde Drexler to his home in Seattle for games of H-O-R-S-E.  The team even practiced at the full-size gym he had in his home. He loved watching video of possible draft choices and often attended practices, summer-league games and road games in addition to sitting in his traditional baseline seat under the basket at the south end of the Moda Center court.
  • He was a giver. He donated billions to worthy causes or to attempt to solve the world’s problems. He contributed to research in regard to brain mapping, climate change, ocean health and pandemic preparedness. He pledged $30 million to help provide a solution to homelessness in Seattle and his overall philanthropic contributions have been estimated at more than $2 billion.
  • He very likely saved the Trail Blazers for the city of Portland and the Seahawks for Seattle. He spearheaded the drive to build Century Link Field and wrote a check to pay for the Rose Quarter and its arena.
  • He was an accomplished guitar player and when I mentioned to him one day that I enjoyed a cut off an album by his group, “Paul Allen and the Underthinkers” that included the great Joe Walsh, his face lit up. He told me how much he enjoyed doing the music and that he’d actually written the song.
  • Lest we forget, he was a key figure at Microsoft, helping to develop the PC and its software.

For my money, he was the gold standard of owners – enough of a fan to care about winning (and spending untold millions to do so) yet not being the interfering kind of owner who wants to grab headlines and make decisions his basketball people are being paid to make.

I believe he’s going to be a tough act to follow. I’ve been told for years that his sister, Jody, wants no part of running a basketball team so I would expect the team to be for sale soon.

But they will never find another Paul Allen.