Canzano: Alleged sins of Jody Allen dusted off amid Phil Knight offer for Blazers
Report digs up allegations about animal bones.
The alleged sins of Jody Allen got dusted off on Thursday and trotted out by the New York Post.
“Toxic,” said the headline.
“It’s time for a change of ownership,” said a former team president.
That guy — Larry Miller — blistered Allen and chief sycophant, Bert Kolde, in what amounted to a back-alley takedown. One that Allen and Kolde had coming.
Phil Knight wants to buy the Trail Blazers. He’s made a $2 billion-plus offer. On Tuesday, Jody Allen issued a statement, indicating that her late brother’s NBA franchise isn’t for sale. She noted a timeline of “10 to 20 years” to settle his estate.
Peculiar, wasn’t it?
Nobody in media had inquired about a possible sale. There were no reports of new offers being made. I can only surmise given the timing and content that Allen’s statement was a public clap back. One that Knight didn’t appreciate.
The billionaires are bickering, folks.
Miller told The Post that Jody didn’t bother to return Knight’s calls. Also, the report indicated that she didn’t return a call and email from star guard Damian Lillard. The guard later refuted that.
Still, too big for Knight?
That’s the kind of ownership we’re dealing with in Portland these days. Jody has the NBA franchise in a headlock and won’t let it go. Miller pointed out, “When Paul was alive, she hardly came to a game.”
The Post piece dredged up a troubling accusation involving the Allen family body guards, too. In 2012, the family security detail included decorated, elite military veterans. The body guards claimed in sworn depositions that Jody sexually harassed them, purchasing tight, Euro-cut swim trunks and allegedly requesting they perform a “fashion show” for her.
The guards claimed under oath that she directed them to smuggle animal bones out of Africa and Antarctica. At least 15 ex-members of the personal security detail filed civil suits against the Allen family, with more than a dozen settling out of court.
The Allen family attorneys called the accusations “meritless.” USDA records, however, reveal that inspectors destroyed 72 pounds of giraffe bones belonging to Vulcan, Inc.
Miller is the president of Nike’s Jordan Brand. He’s close with NBA commissioner Adam Silver as well. Did Miller blow up any chance of Knight getting the team by lashing out? Or was putting public pressure on Jody Allen a genius move? Decide for yourself, but one franchise insider told me on Thursday the tactic is rife with risk.
“This story will incense Jody and Bert,” the source said. “Larry should have said Paul was the best owner in NBA history, they will build a statue, name the court and give Jody courtside seats for life.”
The source continued: “She has to be seduced. This is about money and ego.”
The Blazers are a “wanna-be” franchise right now. They have a “wanna-be” owner in Jody Allen and a “wanna-be” vice chairman in Kolde, calling the shots. If it weren’t for the passion of die-hard fans and the sweat of determined players, this franchise would hardly have a pulse.
Morale among franchise employees is low and access to Allen and Kolde is scarce, I’m told. The operation is busy trying to sell season tickets and sponsorships, but what the Trail Blazers need is a change of ownership.
Knight would be a terrific NBA owner. He’d love the franchise and nurture it. He’d angle for free agents, infuse energy and make big plans. I have zero doubt the Nike founder is the best pick for owner and he’s joined in the bid by Dodgers’ owner Alan Smolinsky, who made his fortune in real estate. I wonder what the Rose Quarter could become with their vision.
Euro-cut swim trunks?
If that’s what moves the needle, Phil Knight ought to withdraw his cash offer and come back with a pile of animal bones.
It’s the stuff of a Hollywood movie, with a couple of bumbling dolts cast as the lead villains. That’s Jody and Bert, playing themselves. They’ve got Trail Blazers, Inc. in a double-fisted stranglehold. No wonder she can’t bother to come to the phone.
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