By 750 THE GAME STAFF
Jody Allen’s grip on the Trail Blazers franchise feels like a headlock.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight and real estate tycoon Alan Smolinisky’s have made repeated attempts to start a conversation about possibly buying the NBA franchise.
Meanwhile, Allen has publicly maintained the Trail Blazers are not for sale, adding it could take up to 20 years to liquidate the assets from her late older brother Paul Allen’s estate.
“I am left looking at what we are watching unfold before our very eyes and just shaking my head,” John Canzano said on 750 The Game. “It never should have ended this way. It never should have been left to a trustee, and an estate, and question marks, and Jody Allen clinging to the team.”
Canzano says Trail Blazers fans should look to Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, to intervene. Silver is close with Knight, and Canzano says Knight very likely received Silver’s blessing when Knight went public with his interest to purchase the Trail Blazers last summer.
“I may believe that Phil Knight and Alan Smolinksi are the right people to own the team. You may believe that,” Canzano said. “I think that the NBA is the best chance you and I have of Jody Allen getting a wake-up call.”
Silver undoubtedly is paying attention to the circus that is Trail Blazers Inc. under Allen and Bert Kolde, the team’s vice chair.
“Adam Silver may have reached the end of his rope,” Canzano said. “He hasn’t said anything. But I’m being told that Phil Knight would not have been this public and this aggressive without Adam Silver’s blessing.”
Allen has some unsettling history. She was accused of smuggling giraffe bones out of Africa. She also faced a number of lawsuits from former bodyguards alleging sexual harassment and other unsettling activity.
Attorneys for the Allen family say the claims are unfounded.
“I think more public pressure is needed,” said Canzano. “I think Adam Silver and the NBA need to come forth at some point. And I think, look, based upon what those bodyguards have said about Jody Allen, I shudder.
“With a sports world that has seen Daniel Snyder, and a sports world that has seen Donald Sterling, and a sports world that saw Robert Sarver have to sell the Suns. I kind of shudder to think that this is the ‘owner’ of the Trail Blazers, and I’ve got to think Adam Silver and the league are not at all comfortable with where this franchise is today.”
Listen to Canzano’s full segments on the tension around Jody Allen’s oversight of the Trail Blazers at the 1:03:30 mark of the podcast below.
John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.