SBD/Issue 163/Franchises

NBA Franchise Notes: TX Rivalry Heats Up; Barkley The Exec?

In San Antonio, Amy Dorsett reported that the available tickets for Games One and Two of the Mavs-Spurs Western Conference Finals sold out in 45 minutes (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 5/17). The Spurs are not selling tickets for the Western Conference Finals "to anyone north of Austin, a move that Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban doesn't agree with." Cuban: "It's just not the right thing to do. It's not fair to the other owners. Every ticket sold helps me pay for the luxury tax" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/18). Cuban estimated the Mavs would gross $1.2M from Saturday's Game Seven against the Kings (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/18).

SIR CHARLES: In Sacramento, Scott Howard-Cooper reported that TNT analyst Charles Barkley "confirmed that he has held discussions with at least one team about joining the front office as a personnel executive." The team was not identified, and it is unclear "whether Barkley would make roster decisions or be more of a figurehead for a franchise needing a publicity boost" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/18).

HEAD OF THE CLASS? In Portland, Jim Beseda profiled Trail Blazers Exec VP Erin Hubert, who "is the leading candidate to succeed Bob Whitsitt as team president." Blazers Owner Paul Allen "plans to hire two people — a president to handle the business side, and a [GM] to deal with basketball-related issues." If Hubert becomes President, "her duties wouldn't change significantly from what she does now. The biggest difference is that she would have a hand in overseeing players' salaries, coaches' salaries and the other expenses that go with running the basketball side of the operation." Hubert: "It got kind of separate there for a while — the whole basketball side of things from the front office side. That's typical in sports ... but I don't think it's healthy for business. I think most teams are figuring that out, and they're all trying to find how better to bridge the two sides" (OREGONIAN, 5/18).

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