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Blazers’ Allen talks openly about being small market owner

Dec 20, 2011, 1:01 PM EDT

Paul Allen AP

Paul Allen got painted as the bad guy this summer, fair or not.

But to his credit, when he sat down with reporters Monday he was honest — he was a hardliner. Which is ironic as the Blazers were one of the bigger spending small markets of the last couple decades.

Portland followed the pattern of most smaller markets — they kept costs down until they became competitive and had a window to win a ring, then they spent like the big markets. Blazers people will say that Allen lost money all those years (decide for yourself if you want to believe that, the co-founder of Microsoft can certainly afford it either way) but he admits now he didn’t like that pattern he wanted to change the economic landscape of the NBA.

Here are his quotes, from the Portland Tribune (via TrueHoop).

“The quandary you get into in a small market is, you have a choice between being competitive and maybe overspending, or not trying to be competitive and trying to break even,” he said. “That became very dramatic with some teams. We were starting to see some teams say, ‘We’re not going to be competitive, because it costs too much money, and we’re losing too much money.’

“Even the mid-market teams like, say, Dallas … they won the NBA championship but were way over the luxury tax and lost a lot of money. It was clear that not only did you have to stop the small-market teams from collectively losing a lot of money, but you had to try to level the playing field.”

Allen also said he has no plans to sell the team right now and that he does not plan to make ventures into the luxury cap territory again.

Go read the whole article — he also talks about the Blazers revolving door at general manager. I don’t agree with everything Allen said, but at least he came out and said it, unlike other hardline owners who hid behind David Stern.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Read the post about Cuban predicting an athlete comes out of the closet within 3-5 years. Then, when this article was posted and the title began, “Blazers’ Allen talks openly about being….” I thought this was it.

    Insted it was an artice about a guy who made a Trillion dollars in the exact market he is now calling “small”.

    • troy10 - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      You’re trying to say, if I understand correctly, that because he “co-founded” Microsoft, and just happened to live in the Pacific Northwest when he did.

      (Again, Microsoft.. a company and product that not only revolutionized the computer industry, but spans the globe as far as marketability and sales)

      So, because he founded Microsoft and did well for himself, then that should somehow correlate into a small local (relatively speaking) Portland economy being able to support a professional sports franchise in these days of inflated sports salary?

      Could you please explain, that pretty much seems like apples and oranges to me.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 20, 2011 at 5:39 PM

        My explaination is that I was being a wise-ass. Just go back to booing Lebron.

      • troy10 - Dec 21, 2011 at 9:56 AM

        might want to work on that wit a little bit.

  2. somekat - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Gotta love Kurt “I heart NBAPA” Helin. “The co-found of Microsoft can cerainly afford it”

    Just like your agruments during the lockout. These guys are rich, they should completely be willing to lose millions of dollars a year, while the players get rich and take no financial risk!!

  3. goforthanddie - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Mr. Allen is investing heavily in next-gen space shuttle stuff, he isn’t and never has been afraid to spend money. He doesn’t need to make a dime off the Blazers, and he shouldn’t have to lose a dime.

    1972wasalongtimeago:
    He didn’t make a trillion dollars in Portland. Microsoft is worldwide, I’m surprised you didn’t know that :|

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:22 PM

      Once again, I was being a wise-ass. But on a serious note, all the Blazers had o do was draft Jordan in 84 and Durant in 08..

  4. philtration - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    So was Paul Allen kidnapped and forced to buy an NBA team in a smaller market against his will or did he expect the population of Portland to suddenly boom to 3 million people?

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