SBD/Issue 48/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Writer Says Warriors' Problems Could Call For
League To Step In And Provide Stern Direction
In Portland, Geoffrey Arnold wrote the Warriors' problems are "growing each day." Many star players are "no longer with the team," and a front office "power struggle forced the departure of a popular executive" in Chris Mullin. The team is "guided by an aloof and unorthodox coach," and the result is a franchise that was "once a darling of the league that is now a laughingstock." The team's problems "could call for the league to step in and provide stern direction" (OREGONLIVE.com, 11/17). In S.F., Ray Ratto writes the franchise has "dead-ended in its present state." This is the "worst Warriors implosion of the half dozen or so we've endured since the mid-1970s, because it is so raw, so free of pretense or disingenuousness" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/18).

LOOKING TO SELL: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that he has "six potential buyers on the line" for the Coyotes. But the GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts notes a "day in search of the elusive six produced little concrete information." The "one obvious suitor" is Ice Edge Holdings, but "after that, the field thins out quickly." If he "can't sell the team by the end of the season, Bettman will have to tell the governors the total tab for rescuing the Coyotes ... could hit" $200M. That "would be the purchase price plus the legal costs in the war against [Jim] Balsillie's plan to buy the team and move it to Hamilton, plus this season's losses." Considering the team lost more than $60M last season and "this season's ticket sales have cratered," that $200M estimate "might be on the light side" (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/18).

WILD BUFFALO: The Bills fired coach Dick Jauron yesterday, and in Buffalo, Jerry Sullivan writes the team has "been a dysfunctional mess for a decade." The "only thing you can count on is that they'll lose -- and that the owner will function on the cheap." The Bills are "at a crossroads," whether Owner Ralph Wilson "admits it or not." He has a "bad team, an inferior front office [and] increasingly disaffected fan base." Wilson has to "loosen the purse strings and pay the going rate for good football people" (BUFFALO NEWS, 11/18).

FEAST FOR A KING: The NBA Kings prior to yesterday's game against the Bulls held a free holiday buffet for ticket holders, and a team spokesperson said that "everyone in line when the game started was served, estimating that 1,084 fans were served." Kings co-Owner Gavin Maloof: "People were crowding to get in. I couldn't believe how many people there were. But, hey, we'll try anything. ... At the end of the day we'll evaluate it. Maybe we'll do it again" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/18).

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