Joshua Harris Rumors
Crystal Palace are set to be sold for £100 million. The Sunday Telegraph says Josh Harris and partner David Blitzer are close to taking full control and could be officially unveiled early next week, following months of discussions with the Premier League club. Harris also owns NBA franchise Philadelphia 76ers and NHL side New Jersey Devils.
The 76ers did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but a team source said it’s “a stretch” to say the club “strongly” opposes changing the lottery odds. “But no team … that is unlikely to compete for the playoffs would want this. Right?” The proposal “gives more incentive for mid-level teams … to not stretch for the playoffs,” the source said. That’s a “tough message on parity.”
The NBA Competition Committee has yet to determine whether it will recommend altering the draft lottery as early as next season in an attempt to dissuade teams like the Philadelphia 76ers from deliberately fielding a non-competitive roster in order to acquire a high draft pick, a change reportedly being pursued by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, according to a league source.
The Sixers believe they are just taking advantage of a system that has been in place, and they’re not the first team to do so. However, a league source said that teams believe the Sixers made a mockery of the rules by fielding a roster full of NBA Development League talent.
League sources said Wednesday afternoon that the Sixers would not get any sympathy from fellow franchises. That’s because for the second straight season, the Sixers are expected to field a roster below NBA standards in order to guarantee losses in hopes of a high draft pick. This tactic, said one Eastern Conference executive, is having “a negative effect on the integrity of the NBA.” He believes the proposed new format, which could come to a league vote in the fall, would go a long way in preventing teams from duplicating what the Sixers are doing.
The 76ers, however, may have a struggle to gain support from Silver or fellow teams on holding off the changes. Philadelphia’s planned sink to the bottom has caused a drag on revenues in one of the league’s largest markets and it is has upset some fellow teams, sources said.
The rough draft of this plan was met with opposition by 76ers management, who are in the midst of a multiseason rebuilding project that is depending on a high pick next year. The 76ers, sources said, are hoping to get the NBA to delay plans for at least a year because it acts as a de facto punishment while just playing by the rules that have been in place.
Earlier this month at league meetings in Las Vegas, lottery reform measures were introduced and changes could be voted into place by the NBA Board of Governors at their preseason meeting in October. Though there are several facets and the proposals haven’t been finalized, essentially the goal of commissioner Adam Silver is to balance out the lottery odds so the worst team or teams wouldn’t have the highest chances of landing the top pick, sources said.
Sources close to the situation have indicated that Joshua Harris’ investment group is expected to finalize the purchase of the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center on Thursday. Sources also tell CSNPhilly.com that Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil will be installed as the Devils’ CEO and serve in that capacity, simultaneously, for both teams. Harris and his ownership group bought the Sixers in 2011 for a reported $287 million. According to Forbes, the Sixers are currently valued at $418 million. In January 2012, the Devils were reportedly worth $205 million, but owner Jeff Vanderbeek is believed to be $230 million in debt. By acquiring the Devils and the Prudential Center, Harris’ group will assume that debt.
According to team sources, some of the players became frustrated with Collins’ old school ways or, as one Sixer said, his “tendency to be overbearing.” “Clearly we want the right cultural fit for our organization,” is how majority owner Joshua Harris described what he called a “wide-ranging” search for a replacement.
However, Harris, who briefly addressed this subject Saturday at an announcement that the Sixers were acquiring a new NBA D-League franchise (the Delaware 87ers), sounds wedded to his original position. “Obviously the sooner the better in terms that there are other teams that want coaches,” Harris said. “Having said that it’s a really important position, so the answer is it’s not possible to put a time frame on it. “Clearly we are sequencing it quickly. We’re not waiting around, but there is a lot of work to be done. It’s just hard to put a time frame on it. Faster is better but only if you find the right person.”
Joshua Harris on Andrew Bynum: “There’s no one scenario that is determinable right now.” “Of course we’re going to look at bringing Bynum back… a healthy Bynum playing is a needle-mover.” “We’re going to weigh the positives and negatives and try to make a reasoned assessment about Andrew.” “I’m not saying we’re going to bring [Bynum] back – I’m saying we aren’t ruling it out.” “We’re very interested and open to Andrew coming back” in a way “that makes sense for us.”
The Sixers are getting close to hiring a director of analytics, according to the team’s managing owner, Joshua Harris. “We are in final negotiations with a candidate,” Harris said. “We think we are going to get something done there in the next month.” Harris became convinced that that adding an “analytical mind” to the Sixers’ personnel department was a good idea about midway through last season, his first as the team’s managing owner. There was some thought that the Sixers would pursue a person with this type of background for the general manager’s position. However, Harris opted to go with Tony DiLeo, a player personnel evaluator with a long history with the Sixers. “You have to understand that we have many tools in our toolbox,” Harris said. “We want to give our front office every opportunity to be as competitive as possible and to use everything at their disposal to make this organization one of the finest, and analytics is a part of that. I look at it as a tool in our tool box that needs to be sharpened.”
While some Sixers fans have expressed a belief that Bynum, still experiencing pain as a result of bone bruise in his right knee, might have been a bad acquisition – he has had surgery on both knees in the past – Harris said that knowing what he does about Bynum’s knees, he would make the trade again. “He got the bone bruise, obviously, but in the scheme of things hopefully that will end up being a minor injury,” Harris said. “We had some expectations that that is part of the package. But I would make the trade all over again. It is good having a superstar in Philly. It makes this a more attractive place for future players. The fact that he might miss some games at the start of the season, well, I think it would be better to miss games now than it is later in the season.”
Right on schedule. That’s how Joshua Harris, 76ers managing owner, views the franchise he purchased in 2011 on the eve of the 2012-13 season. “When I purchased the team, I said that my goal was to bring a championship team to the city of Philadelphia,” Harris said via phone Monday night. “We made some changes and some upgrades in the offseason, and I think we are on track to do that. Obviously this isn’t going to happen overnight. But I like the direction we’re headed.”
What you may not know was that fundraiser took place in May in Boca Raton, Fla., at the home of Marc Leder, a private equity manager who once served as senior vice president for Lehman Brothers. Leder is also one of 14 co-owners of the Philadelphia 76ers. He is part of the group headed by Joshua Harris, David Blitzer and Adam Aron which bought the team just under a year ago from Comcast-Spectacor for a reported $280 million.