Jason Quick of OregonLive.com reported today that Herman Sarkowsky, one of the original owners of the Portland Trail Blazers, passed away today at the age of 89.
A Seattle real estate developer, Sarkowsky teamed with Larry Weinberg of Los Angeles and Robert Schmertz of New Jersey to pay the $3.7 million expansion fee in 1970 to secure what would become the Trail Blazers.
Sarkowsky was instrumental in pulling together the backers and helping Harry Glickman secure his case to the NBA expansion committee.
"We owe him a lot,'' Glickman said on Monday. "He is very much responsible for the Blazers being here. When our hopes for getting a franchise were getting dim, he stepped up and arranged the financing. And he was just a wonderful guy.''
Sarkowsky sold his stake in the Blazers in 1974 so he could join with Lloyd Nordstrom to become co-owner of the Seattle Seahawks.