SBD/January 27, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Detroit, Tom Walsh writes time is "running out" on the latest 30-day exclusive negotiating period for the sale of the Pistons, and "still there is no deal." There was "speculation early this month" that Platinum Equity Chair & CEO Tom Gores "might be able to complete a purchase from Pistons owner Karen Davidson in a matter of days." But "no formal bid has been made," and "no financial information has been exchanged." Gores' reps "have been in metro Detroit during the past two weeks, doing so-called due diligence," while Gores "has been in New York City this week, meeting with" NBA officials. Meanwhile, a "whiff of interest in the Pistons has surfaced from" Chicago-based Blue Media, LLC President Eric Lefkofsky (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 1/27).

COURT REPORT: In California, Vik Jolly reported a Jewish hockey player drafted by the Ducks "who was assigned to play in a minor league sued the NHL team for religious discrimination and failure to prevent harassment in a complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court on Tuesday." Jason Bailey was drafted in '05 and "signed a three-year contract with the Ducks" around '08. He was "assigned to play" with the ECHL Bakersfield Condors. The complaint alleges that Condors coach Marty Raymond "degraded Bailey's faith and frequently commented about Jews as ones who 'only care about money and who's who.'" The complaint claims that assistant coach Mark Pederson "also harassed Bailey" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/26).

Hardaway mansion features private basketball
court decorated with Heat logo
STAND BY YOUR MAN
: In Detroit, Robert Snell reports the Heat have "bailed out former star Tim Hardaway ... by buying his Miami mansion and clearing up a $120,000 federal tax debt." Hardaway "ran into tax trouble in June," and the IRS "filed a tax lien against his property and the bill listed his 7,542-square-foot mansion in suburban Miami." On Sept. 3, "three months after the lien was filed, Hardaway sold the mansion to Miami Heat Limited Partnership, which owns the Miami Heat." Public records indicated that the Heat paid $1.985M for the house. The Heat are "trying to sell the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath estate, which comes with a pool and private basketball court decorated with a Miami Heat logo," for $2.5M. Yet "four months after the sale, Hardaway is still living in the mansion" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/27).

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY: In Atlanta, Doug Roberson reports the MLS Columbus Crew, Houston Dynamo and New England Revolution "will participate in the Atlanta MLS Challenge at Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium on March 9, 11 and 13." The event marks the "first time MLS teams will train in Atlanta," which is the "most-populous metro area to never have a MLS team." Each team will play two exhibition games. MLS Exec VP/Communications Dan Courtemanche said that the league "will be monitoring the Challenge, but because it's a series of exhibition games, it wouldn't be a significant factor in the league's hopes for one day placing a team in the city" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/27).
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