Phil Knight, founder of Nike, and Alan Smolinisky, part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, have made an offer to buy the Portland Trail Blazers. The amount is reported to exceed $2 billion. The Blazers are currently owned by Jody Allen, sister of former owner Paul Allen, who passed away from cancer in October of 2018. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke news of the reported offer via Twitter.
Nike founder Phil Knight and Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinisky have made a $2 billion-plus written offer to purchase the Portland Trail Blazers, sources tell ESPN. Discussions are ongoing with the Paul Allen trust that’s overseeing ownership of team. Story soon.
Wojnarowski indicates that Knight being involved reaffirms the intent to keep the Trail Blazers in Portland.
The presence of Phil Knight in the proposed ownership group speaks to its desire to keep the Blazers in Portland and move the franchise forward there. Again, talks are ongoing on the possible purchase of the franchise.
Nike makes its headquarters in the Portland-metropolitan area. Knight is well known as a booster and supporter of athletic programs at the University of Oregon.
Wikipedia describes Smolinisky as a California-based real estate mogul who started his fortune by providing housing around the University of Southern California. He and his ownership group purchased the Dodgers, a marquee Major League Baseball franchise, in 2019. The Dodgers won the World Series in 2020 and lost the National League Championship Series last year.
Both Knight and Smolinisky are reportedly billionaires. You can find an extensive interview with Smolinisky here.
UPDATE (1:32 pm): In his full article, Wojnarowski wrote that the ownership group is engaged in “serious talks to acquire the team” with the Paul Allen Trust.
Knight and Smolinisky have been engaged in discussions with the Paul Allen Trust that’s overseeing the franchise and those talks are planned to continue, sources said.