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WILL RAPTORS BECOME ALL IN THE FAMILY? BITOVE SR. EYES ROLE?
Published November 5, 1996
Some "intriguing names are surfacing" as possible investors in the Raptors, as team President John Bitove Jr. attempts to buy out partner Allan Slaight, according to Craig Daniels of the TORONTO SUN. Daniels quotes one unnamed source who says John Bitove Sr. is "taking a lead" in the effort while a second anonymous source adds that both Bitoves have met over the last week with Bill Ballard, who along with partner Michael Cohl, was behind one of the failed bids to win the Raptors franchise. The source suggested that Ballard would "convince the Leafs to come as partners with the Raptors at Air Canada Centre ... in exchange for Ballard dropping" a lawsuit against the Leafs ownership. A third unnamed source said "there has been talk" that L.A.-based MCA Corp. is interested in the team while Albuquerque businessman Gavin Maloof's interest in the team is "dropping by the minute" (TORONTO SUN, 11/5). GARDENS WON'T BE RAVAGED: Maple Leafs Chair Steve Stavro said yesterday Maple Leaf Gardens will not be demolished when the club moves to a new arena. Stavro: "We're not going to knock it down -- my personal opinion is that it's a shrine" (Lance Hornsby, TORONTO SUN, 11/5). STERN WORDS: Noting the "high and mighty commissioner of the NBA acted ... like a kid who had his Halloween candy stolen," Jim Hunt of the TORONTO SUN notes NBA Commissioner David Stern's critical comments Friday against the Maple Leafs for insisting on complete control over a shared arena with the Raptors. Hunt: "Stern is trying to save the NBA's butt for a bad decision. It goofed when it awarded the [Raptors] to John Bitove and his gang" (TORONTO SUN, 11/5).