Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen is named a winner along with the rest of the hard-line owners.
* Paul Allen, Portland Trail Blazers. Allen derives his fabulous wealth from his work with Bill Gates in the founding of Microsoft. He has used that wealth to gain interests and holdings in a diverse portfolio of businesses ranging from real estate to entertainment and philanthropic pursuits which is managed by his company Vulcan. Oh, and he's also lived his life like a combination of Richard Branson without the charm and Batman but if Bruce Wayne only wanted to dress up in costume and do donuts in the Batmobile rather than fight crime. Antarctic excursions? Check. Private paramilitary security force? Check. Multimillion dollar vanity museum designed by Frank Gehry which houses pop music and science fiction memorabilia and which doubles as a hole into which one throws money? Check. The Blazers under Allen have been largely successful on the court with a heady mix of malcontents, youthful promise, smart stat-driven management, smart stat-driven managers being fired and a plague of lower body injuries. Allen made his mark on the NBA lockout with his grim reaper meets Hollow Man take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum halting hours of negotiations that he somehow -- if the reports are accurate -- delivered wordlessly.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter