HoopsHype Joshua Harris rumors

July 13, 2011 Updates

Comcast-Spectacor is in the final stages of negotiating terms of its sale of the 76ers to a group of investors led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris. Although multiple sources have confirmed that the deal is "not yet done," those same sources confirmed that the sale is in its final stages and that an announcement is expected any time, likely within the next two business days and even as early as Wednesday. Once the two parties have agreed on terms, the sale will go to the NBA's board of governors for approval. Despite the current NBA lockout - there is a moratorium on player movement, and communication between teams and players is barred - the sale of a franchise can still be processed. Philadelphia Inquirer

July 12, 2011 Updates

Comcast-Spectacor celebrated when they bought the Sixers in April 1996 from Harold Katz. There will be some high-fiving in the Comcast Tower in the next 48 hours to end the company’s ownership as well. “This is a great deal for Comcast,” said the source. The source said that the prospective new ownership group will remain committed to having its games televised on Comcast SportsNet for the foreseeable future, and will also remain tenants at the Well Fargo Center. Of the new owners, the source said “these guys are crazy,” to be making the deal. Philly Sports Daily

There was no immediate word on a sale price, which does not include the Wells Fargo Center or the NHL's Flyers, sources said Tuesday. David Blitzer of The Blackstone Group will join Harris as lead partner, according to sources familiar with the deal. Former player agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien also is part of the proposed ownership group, sources said. Apollo, which describes itself on its web site as specializing in "contrarian" investments and "distressed" assets, and Blackstone are not involved in the transaction. CBSSports.com

July 7, 2011 Updates

The Philadelphia 76ers likely will be sold to a group led by Joshua Harris, a director at Apollo Global Management LLC, in the next few business days, two people familiar with the negotiations said. Harris will pay about $280 million, according to one of the people, who were granted anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the sale publicly. Harris co-founded Apollo Management in 1990, and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a master’s degree from the Harvard Business School. Apollo went public in March. Comcast-Spectacor, the holding company that owns the National Basketball Association team, said a month ago that it was exploring a sale. Bloomberg

June 11, 2011 Updates

Twenty-five years later, a group led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris is negotiating to buy the 76ers, and Williams said it will be important for the current team management to quickly get on the same page with the new owner. Even if the new owner does not have much - or any - experience in running a franchise, it's vital for management and the coaching staff to have a strong rapport with the new boss. "New ownership comes in and wants to make a difference. . . . They want to put their stamp on it," (Pat) Williams said in a phone interview. "The worry [for management] is that new owners with no background in basketball will become 'experts' in two weeks. If you can get through that, and they begin to understand that this isn't an exact science and doesn't relate fully to how they made their money, and it's a whole industry fully unto itself." Philadelphia Inquirer

Williams said he advises the holdovers to include the new owners in their process of making basketball-related decisions. "I would counsel any new coaches and full-time employees to seek out the owner and keep him in the loop," Williams said. "Owners don't like surprises. . . . Don't let him get secondhand information." Philadelphia Inquirer

June 7, 2011 Updates

Philadelphia 76ers owner Comcast-Spectacor is in talks to sell the team to a group led by New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris, according to sources. Negotiations are ongoing and a source with knowledge of the talks called a deal "imminent." The Associated Press, citing a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the team could be sold within the week. The source said Harris' group was not the only bidder but is now the lead bidder, adding the deal has been in the works for several months. ESPN.com

David Aldridge: Source says 76ers sale to Joshua Harris group is "not imminent," but confirms talks are ongoing. ESPN.com first reported talks. Twitter

While the bones of ESPN.com's earlier report on the potential sale of the 76ers is accurate, calling the sale "imminent" is too strong. Earlier today, ESPN.com reported that Comcast-Spectacor is in talks to sell the Sixers to a "group led by New York-based leverage buyout specialist Joshua Harris." That information is accurate, as are the details reported in the ESPN.com story. The one caution is that while the two sides are continually talking, there are a myriad of hurdles to overcome before an agreement between the two sides can be reached. Calling the deal "imminent" would not accurately reflect the current situation, which seems to put any potential deal -- if one is indeed reached -- at at least a week-plus in the future. In addition, this deal would allow current owner Ed Snider to retain a small percentage of the Sixers, although certainly not a controlling stake. Philadelphia Inquirer

Two hours ago, Sixers' president and COO Peter Luukko released the following statement about the news: "I can confirm that we are in discussions about the future of the team, but these discussions are confidential and we cannot talk about the details. At some point, we may have something more to say about these discussions, but we will not be making any comments at this point." Messages were left for Comcast-Spectacor owner Ed Snider and Luukko. When reached, Sixers president Rod Thorn declined to comment. If the two parties -- that would be Comcast-Spectacor and the group led by Joshua Harris -- reach a deal, the sale would become official only with the approval of the NBA's Board of Governors. As ESPN pointed out, the Sixers were not known to have been for sale before today's news. Philadelphia Inquirer

According to a source, Comcast-Spectacor is in talks to sell the 76ers to a group led by New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris. The potential buyers would become the sixth owners in the team's 65-year history, though any sale would be subject to approval by the NBA. Comcast-Spectacor has owned the Sixers since 1996. Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko released the following statement regarding the situtation: "I can confirm that we are in discussions about the future of the team, but these discussions are confidential and we cannot talk about the details. At some point, we may have something more to say about these discussions, but we will not be making any comments at this point." CSNPhilly.com

The Daily News caught up with former Sixers president Pat Croce on the reported "imminent" sale of the team. "I think if you get bought by a passionate owner, who is into it 100 percent, I think it's great ... You want that owner who is dedicated, who has leadership, who will bleed red, white and blue. "When I was there, I didn't care about any other team. I wanted the Sixers to be better than the Flyers, the Eagles and the Phillies. I still rooted for those teams, but I wanted us to be the best, to be the No. 1 team among the fans. Philadelphia Inquirer

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