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.