Sunday, August 06, 2006

What will this week bring?

That is the question I have. Think about what we had going on last week.

Monday: Jamaal Magloire is officially traded to Portland
Wednesday: Westview High School's Andy Poling, as reported by www.oregonpreps.com, announces he will follow the lead of Love and Singler, and leave Oregon to play his college basketball at Gonzaga.
Wednesday: Blazers announce their 2006-07 schedule.
Thursday AM: The Oregonian reports that PAM and Vulcan are reviewing multiple offers to purchase the Rose Garden and the NBA team.
Thursday at Noon: Paul Allen announces he will not be selling the team.
Thursday: Oregon State Football Media Day-Beavs show up with a chip on their shoulders, and in the case of most, those shoulders have become bigger and stronger in the offseason!

Lets take a look back and ahead. I have not commented on this blog about the Blazers' sale or lack thereof, because really I have spent the past few days trying to talk to people inside the situation, and some who are around the NBA on the business side, and find out what is REALLY going on.

Paul Allen doesn't want to sell the Blazers
Really, it is that simple. Based on what I have been told by people both inside the Blazers front office, and those around the NBA, PA has made the decision that he wants to keep HIS team for now.
Why? Again, it is simple. To steal a phrase from the great philosopher Dale "Taser" Davis, at the end of the day, Paul Allen is a fan. Simple, easy, and really nothing more.
I look at PA as being exactly like Mark Cuban and Larry Miller. Owners who are fans first, and in terms of the teams they own, businessmen second. While I was always considered to be "anti-Jazz" while in Utah, I really liked Larry Miller. I loved his style. Yeah, I mocked him for crying at every press conference, but he showed real emotion for his team which is refreshing.
Think about it the difference between Seattle's new owners and PA, Cuban and Miller. The Oklahoma City contingent stated they bought the team because it was a "good investment, and we are investing in the league." PA, Cuban, and Miller own teams because they are fans who have the money to own their own team.
I have always stated on the radio show that I thought Paul Allen is a great owner. But I think Vulcan is a bad partner. They don't mix. Despite what many think, Vulcan is a group of smart businessmen who are hired to tell Paul Allen what he SHOULD do with his money. But Paul Allen is going to make the final decision, and he has obviously decided to not sell the team, despite the "broken financial model." It doesn't mean he won't sell it down the road, maybe even as it improves and becomes more appealing.
Why is Paul Allen a great owner? The same reason Mark Cuban and Larry Miller are great owners. They love watching their team play, like any die-hard fan would. Because of that, they never want to see their team turn into a loser. They will push the management to make moves to improve.
How do you explain the last three years? One guess is Vulcan told Paul Allen he had to get his financial house in order, trim payroll and cut back the business expenses. He did that, and watched his team, the team he loves watching and rooting for, become the worst franchise not named the Knicks in the NBA. Now it is obvious he has decided to become a fan again, at the expense of the business, and try to make this team better.
Really, he started last year when he spent a lot of money to hire Nate McMillan. Then he invested about $20 million dollars in picks and the salaries for those picks, on draft day. We SHOULD have known on June 28th that he wasn't interested in selling the team.
The Blazers appear to be a better basketball team today than they were at the end of the season.
The next move out of town won't be Paul Allen selling, it will probably be Darius Miles. The financial model is still broken, but at the end of the day one of the richest men in the world probably doesn't care.

Global Spectrum
The worst thing that could come out of this mess is PA buying the building back and Global Spectrum, the group that manages the Rose Garden, going away. Mike Scanlon and his staff have done a remarkable job booking events and turning a profit. They are far more involved in charitable events in the community than Oregon Arena Management was at the end of their reign of terror. Best case would be PA getting the building back, but retaining Scanlon and his staff. Of course I still believe in Santa too!

We will be in Eugene for Oregon Football Media Day on Monday, and we urge you to take a listen on the radio at 1080 The Fan (AM 1080) or via the web at www.1080thefan.com from
3-6.

Thank you and goodbye.