REPORT: Nike Co-Founder Phil Knight Attempting To Buy Portland Trail Blazers

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Contributor
Font Size:

Phil Knight … play on, playa.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight, as well as real estate investor Alan Smolinisky, have contacted the Portland Trail Blazers organization “numerous times” about possibly buying the franchise. However, each offer has been turned down by governor Jody Allen, according to Rachel Bachman of the Wall Street Journal.

“The 85-year-old Knight is concerned about the future of Portland—his hometown which has recently been beset by social problems—and he wants to cement the team’s future there, according to people familiar with Knight and Smolinisky’s plans,” reported Bachman.

Since Paul Allen died in 2018, it’s been unclear what’s going to happen with the Trail Blazers. Allen had post-death instructions to sell off his assets over time, which includes the Blazers. His sister, Jody, is both the executor of his estate and the trustee of the Paul G. Allen Trust.

Back in June 2022, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that both Knight and Smolinisky (who owns a percentage of the Los Angeles Dodgers in MLB) offered $2 billion to buy the Blazers.

After that report, Jody Allen then issued a statement stating that both the Trail Blazers and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks (who is also owned by the Allen Family) aren’t for sale. Her explanation was that “estates of this size and complexity can take 10 to 20 years to wind down.”

I’ve got my own opinions about this saga involving Jody Allen, but with it being an ongoing issue and way out of my pay grade, I’m just going to keep my opinions to myself.

But I will say this: I can’t help but admire how elite Phil Knight is. Not only did my man create Nike, not only did he build it up to be a mega-billion dollar corporation that influences almost everything in culture (including the NBA), but here he is trying to buy a sports franchise to add to his empire. Like, wow … that’s some boss stuff, man. (RELATED: Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra, Bam Adebayo Snap At Reporters After 111-108 Game 2 Win Over Denver Nuggets)

I can only dream. It must be nice.