Joe Freeman: The family of Trail Blazers owner Paul All…


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The Blazers have left Paul Allen's seat open. Commissioner Adam Silver will be here. Terry Stotts says the Blazers will do their jobs to the best of their abilities on what will be an emotional night.
Allen, who was 65, owned the team for 30 years. His absence leaves plenty of uncertainty. On Tuesday, general manager Neil Olshey and team CEO and president Chris McGowan held a news conference and told warm, respectful stories about their boss. Both, however, said it was too soon to start talking about the team’s ownership future. “At this point, we’re just kind of dealing with the death,” McGowan said. “We don’t have any imminent announcements or anything like that. At the appropriate time, I’m sure we’ll come and talk to everyone with what could potentially happen.”
In the wake of his death, Paul Allen's ownership of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and NFL's Seattle Seahawks has come into focus because of questions about how the franchises will move forward in his absence. No one is providing many details yet about the succession plans for Allen's franchise holdings in the wake of his death Monday from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. His primary franchises were the Blazers and Seahawks, although he also owned a small stake in Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders.
"Paul thoughtfully addressed how the many institutions he founded and supported would continue after he was no longer able to lead them. This isn't the time to deal in those specifics as we focus on Paul's family," according to a statement from Allen's company, Vulcan Inc. "We will continue to work on furthering Paul's mission and the projects he entrusted to us. There are no changes imminent for Vulcan, the teams, the research institutes or museums."
Olshey said his final phone conversation with Allen was in early October with the owner asking if the Blazers GM was watching that night's preseason games. "He wanted to talk basketball," Olshey said. "One of the things that is really unique about Paul is that everything was bifurcated. ... If he wanted to talk hoops, he talked hoops. If he wanted to talk music, he called Mick Jagger. If he wanted to talk football, he called Pete Carroll. Who else gets that?"
Kerry Eggers: Ex-Blazer GM and current Indiana Pacer GM Kevin Pritchard on @paulgallen: “l always felt like our players were his kids. It was the way he wanted us to care for them, to give them every opportunity to succeed, that made him special.”

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Allen is survived by his sister, Jody. A Vulcan source told me shortly after the announcement of Allen's death: "Jody does not enjoy the Trail Blazers." She's a Seahawks fan and is a good bet to emerge as a more visible presence in his NFL organization. Nobody who knows her thinks she'd be interested in wanting to run an NBA franchise on a daily basis.
Allen died Monday in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to his company Vulcan Inc. He was 65. Just two weeks ago, Allen, who owned the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, had announced that the same cancer he had in 2009 had returned. Gates, who met Allen at a private school in Seattle, said he was heartbroken to have lost one of his "oldest and dearest friends." "Personal computing would not have existed without him," Gates said in a statement, adding that Allen's "second act" as a philanthropist was "focused on improving people's lives and strengthening communities in Seattle and around the world."
He was a shy man, some would say unusually quiet, but players said he would open up at his home. There was a kid-like eagerness to showcase — and share — his expansive palace, and he would let loose enough to belly laugh at the sight of Shawn Kemp doing belly flops into his pool. He had his own gas station to fill up the more than 40 cars housed in a garage. He had his own movie theater. The walls were lined with ancient art. And he was always sure to point out the statue of Jimi Hendrix.
“At his core, I really believe his greatest passion was the Blazers and the NBA,” said Bob Whitsitt, who ran both the Blazers and Seahawks for Allen. “He just loved basketball.” Whitsitt said the weeks before every NBA Draft, he would send scores of videotape on prospects to his owner. “He loved getting into the draft,” Whitsitt said. “He would do his homework, and he was happy and excited to do his homework. He liked to get a lot of information. I’ve worked for some owners who didn’t even know the 12th man on the team.”
As he walked toward the exit of the building, he stopped to sign an autograph for a fan waiting there. Then, another. And another. A 10-year old Pelicans fan named Ty stepped up and asked the 65-year old Blazers owner if he wouldn't mind posing for a photograph. Allen stopped on the railing and posed with the kid. You wouldn't have known his team was headed home for the summer. Classy move. For a moment, it was just two NBA fans, snapping a picture together.
It had been 15 minutes since McMillan had heard the news of Allen’s passing and he was still struggling for words, emotion thick in his voice. One of his first thoughts brought him back to a year when Allen nixed a trade that involved Outlaw, who was drafted by the Blazers out of high school. “He knew that Travis was a young guy who they had kind of nurtured,” McMillan said. “And he wouldn’t trade him because he felt it wasn’t about money, or the move … he cared about Outlaw. That’s how I knew he cared about his players and that organization. It was like we were all his babies.”
Ryan Ward: Jeanie Buss on passing of Paul Allen (2/2): "Our condolences go out to his family, friends, colleagues & the Trail Blazers fans.” #Lakers #Blazers

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Storyline: Paul Allen Death
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August 18, 2022 | 2:54 am EDT Update
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