The iconic founder of Nike may soon be the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Nike’s Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinski have offered to buy Pioneer for more than $2 billion player team.
The sale has not been finalized, and discussions about a potential sale are still ongoing.
Longtime Blazers owner Paul Allen died in 2018, and control of the team passed to his sister in trust. Speculation about a sale has been around for a while.
While Knight’s bid for the team has yet to be finalized, such a deal would no doubt keep the team in Portland for the foreseeable future. Nike headquarters is about a 15-minute drive from the Moda Center in Beaverton, Oregon, and in recent decades, after establishing Nike in the Pacific Northwest, it’s hard to see Knight wanting to leave the area.
Knight remains as Nike’s honorary chairman. It’s unclear how his role with the company will continue if he takes over the Blazers, as the NBA has a long-term apparel deal with the company.
According to Forbes, the Trail Blazers were valued at $2.05 billion last year and ranked 13th in the league. They are second only to the $2.3 billion Miami Heat and ahead of the $2 billion Sacramento Kings.
The Utah Jazz were the last team to make an ownership change after Ryan Smith bought a majority stake in the team in 2020 for about $1.66 billion. Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez are buying the Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Bobcats for $1.5 billion.
There is no known timeline for the Blazers sale, and it’s unclear if any other ownership groups are ready to bid.