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Blazers: Team Not for Sale Despite Phil Knight, Alan Smolinisky’s Reported $2B Offer

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 2, 2022

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers responded to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday that Nike founder Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Alan Smolinisky made an offer of more than $2 billion for the team.

"An offer was made by Phil Knight," the team said in a statement. "The team remains not for sale."

Woj reported that Knight and Smolinisky are expected to continue seeking a purchase, however:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Phil Knight and Alan Smolinisky have been engaging on the purchase bid with the Paul Allen Trust and league office, sources said. Other prospective groups have done the same, too. The Blazers say they're not for sale, but Knight and Smolinisky are expected to continue pursuit. <a href="https://t.co/ZRJSrbQBov">https://t.co/ZRJSrbQBov</a>

The Paul G. Allen Trust is currently operating the franchise and is run by Allen's sister Jody. Paul Allen died in 2018.

Allen, who co-founded Microsoft alongside Bill Gates, purchased the team in 1988. He also purchased the Seattle Seahawks in 1997 and was a part-owner of MLS's Seattle Sounders.

The Paul Allen Trust still oversees the Blazers and Seahawks and holds a 20 percent stake in the Sounders.

Under the watch of the Allens and Paul's trust, the Blazers have reached the postseason 26 times in the past 34 years, an excellent run of consistency.

Knight's Nike roots and longtime support of his alma mater, Oregon, "reflect the prospective ownership group's desire to keep the team in Portland for the long term," sources told Wojnarowski.

On the basketball side, the Blazers are retooling around Damian Lillard, as first-year general manager Joe Cronin and second-year head coach Chauncey Billups attempt to put a contender around the 31-year-old superstar.

The 2021-22 season was just the second time the Blazers have missed the playoffs in Lillard's career.

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