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Rent to Own

Helen Jung is reporting that former video store clerk turned CEO Mark Wattles is interested in buying the Trail Blazers and Rose Garden.  Wattles made his millions as the founder of Hollywood Video, so maybe it wasn't a waste to pay all those late fines.  Supposedly, some of his practices could be considered by some to be a little less than ethical, but put me down as being in favor of Wattles taking over the team.

While I try to stay away from stereotypes whenever possible, I'll admit that the fact Wattles is a Mormon makes me tend to believe he'd be a good owner.  The LDS's know how to get shit done, period.  And with the large Mormon community in Oregon, I think he'd have a lot of built-in support.  That's not to say that every Mormon is going to support every other Mormon, but it couldn't hurt to have an owner who's actually tied into the community.

He's not interested in taking on any partners, which is a good thing in my opinion; though I'm not exactly sure he's got the net worth to come up with the $300 million that the Blazers and Rose Garden are supposedly worth.  Then again, it's not like he's going to hand over suitcases full of cash to Paul Allen and the Rose Garden bondholders, so he could probably make it work.  In any event, Wattles seems in a much better position to buy than does Terry Porter and his mystery partners, who as far as I can tell, are about 50 people each willing to pitch in about a $1 million apiece.  That kind of ownership structure is a disaster waiting to happen, and no amount of love for Terry Porter is going to change that.

I'm sure there'll be more on this to come.  How about that Helen Jung, eh?

Update: Helen "The Podiatrist" Jung is also reporting that Terry Porter and scourge of public schools Rob Kremer have come up with almost $40 million in local investment capital with which to make a play for Blazer ownership. A decent amount, but not nearly enough to be a serious contender at this point, even when coupled with the $115 million in financing they've claimed to have secured. If I had to guess, I'd bet they've lined up even less than that, as they're probably looking to advance the perception that they're in the same league as Wattles, especially when you consider that Porter and Kremer are probably feeling their hands are being forced by Jung's article in the Oregonian today. Who needs playoffs, right?