NBA Franchise Notes: 76ers' Harris Says Team Will Stay In Philadelphia
In Philadelphia, Keith Pompey wrote, “Concerned 76ers fans really need to relax. Although some NBA fans would love for the Sixers to move to Newark, N.J., that's just not going to happen.” Having a franchise in Philadelphia “means too much to the Sixers ownership group and the NBA.” Pompey: “Who in his right mind would move another NBA franchise into a crowded New York market to compete against the Knicks and Nets for fans? And who would move an NBA franchise to Newark?” New Devils co-Owner Joshua Harris "called the rumor floating around Philadelphia and New Jersey a conspiracy theory that he wanted to categorically shut down.” Harris: "The Sixers are staying in Philadelphia” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/18).
EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: In N.Y., Marc Berman reports the Knicks' season-ticket renewal rate has risen from last year's 95% to more than 97%, the "highest renewal rate for the club in more than 10 years." The NHL Rangers “also saw gains" with a season-ticket renewal rate of more than 92%, their "highest in five years.” MSG President Dave Howard said that season tickets for both franchises “will sell out shortly” (N.Y. POST, 8/19).
GOLDEN GOOSE: ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell cited a source as saying that the Warriors are "now valued" at $800M, less than three years after team co-Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber paid $450M for the franchise. Rovell noted when Lacob and Gruber purchased the team in November ’11, it was “the highest price ever for an NBA franchise.” The new valuation “comes from the price Silicon Valley venture capitalist Mark Stevens agreed to pay for a share of the team” that was made available when former partner Vivek Ranadive had to sell in order to purchase the NBA Kings (ESPN.com, 8/16).
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap addressed Lakers Exec VP/Player Personnel Jim Buss saying that Mike D'Antoni was hired last fall instead of Phil Jackson by his father, Dr. Jerry Buss, while he was in the hospital fighting for his life. Schapp asked, "If the Lakers had won the title this spring and the D'Antoni hire were viewed as a stroke of genius, I wonder if Jim Buss would’ve been so eager to deflect credit” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 8/18).