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Silver: NBA Isn’t Planning To Force A Trail Blazers Sale

  • League continues to show patience Paul Allen's estate
  • Issue will have significant impact on future of the Seattle Seahawks
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The long-term ownership future of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and NFL’s Seattle Seahawks remain murky at best — but at least one league commissioner isn’t forcing a sale for clarity’s sake.

The estate of the late Paul Allen owns both teams and is led by his sister, Jody. Paul Allen, who died in 2018, left instructions to sell the teams and donate the proceeds to charity. NBA bylaws also mandate that any estate-held team in the league be transferred within a “reasonable” time period.

But nearly five years after Allen’s death, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he doesn’t intend to compel the estate to make a move.

“The board [of governors] has not discussed compelling a sale of the team,” Silver said Wednesday at the conclusion of league BOG meetings. “And obviously ‘within a reasonable time’ is subjection to interpretation. In the case of Paul Allen’s estate, it’s one of the largest estates in American history, and is highly complex in terms of his assets.

“I’ve spoken directly to Jody Allen, and they are working through those issues and in the meantime continue to operate the team in a first-class manner,” he said.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight is among those who have shown interest in acquiring the Trail Blazers.

Seahawks Considerations

Any consideration of a sale of the Seahawks is operating on a different timetable.

A Seattle referendum from 1997 related to the construction of Lumen Field requires that if the team is sold within 25 years of the bonds being issued, 10% of the team’s sale price must go to the state of Washington. That period ends in May 2024.

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