HEAT SALE COOLING OFF?
Whit Hudson, who is attempting to purchase 40% of the Heat
from managing partners Billy Cunningham and Lewis Schaffel,
confirmed that an "internal conflict" has slowed the transaction.
Numerous sources close to the team said that Schaffel "told
employees the sale was close to collapsing," but Schaffel said
only that he was announcing that he and Cunningham are returning
to the front office on a daily basis. Hudson "said he has signed
contracts" with Cunningham, Schaffel and majority owner Ted
Arison to purchase that team, but that he needs approval from
four limited partners before he can submit his ownership
application to the NBA. The limited partners own 5% of the team
which Hudson said he isn't trying to purchase. Hudson: "There's
no problem with my financial package, I can assure you. There
just seems to be problems from the partners in there" (Alex
Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 10/19).
PARTNER RESPONSE: Limited partner Raanan Katz said he wants
"only what's fair to me and what's best for the Heat in the long
run" and hopes "the problems will work out." Schaffel denied
awareness of any problems with the sale: "I've been in neutral,
and it's time to get back to work. ... This is our duty. Maybe
if we would have closed two weeks ago, someone else would be
running the team." Schaffel said he will talk to Hudson before
making personnel any changes (Alex Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 10/19).