Jody Allen, owner of the Portland Trail Blazers since the passing of her brother Paul earlier this year, is keeping the franchise running on course and “as of now...has no intention of selling”. This comes according to a report by Jason Quick of The Athletic (subscription required). The article also gives perspective from one of Portland’s main executives, President and CEO of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment Chris McGowan.
After affirming that the franchise is not currently for sale, McGowan gives a rosy view of Portland’s day-to-day operations, telling Quick, “We are operating business as usual and Neil [Olshey] and I are collaborating regularly with her on all major organizational decisions.”
Quick revealed that President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey declined to be interviewed for the story, as did Bert Kolde, Director of the Board for the Trail Blazers. Quick quoted Olshey from an October 16th interview, indicating that safeguard and procedures had not yet been formalized. McGowan seems to indicate that whatever they are, they do not impede decision-making.
Jody has empowered me and Neil to do our jobs,” McGowan said. “She makes the final decisions, but there has been no handcuffs … she has been a quick decision maker.
The Blazers currently stand at 15-11, 7th in the Western Conference. They will face a decision at the NBA Trade Deadline regarding the expiring contract of forward Al-Farouq Aminu, then again in the summer should they choose to retain him. The contracts of Evan Turner, Maurice Harkless, and Meyers Leonard will expire in 2020. Franchise stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum each play under a contract that runs until the summer of 2021.
It’s worth noting that long-term ownership of the team remains up in the air. A statement of stability like this helps franchise perception in NBA trade circles and among eventual potential buyers.