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Blazers owner Paul Allen denies team is being shopped

By Ben Golliver | Blogger
Paul Allen reiterates that the Portland Trail Blazers are not for sale. (Getty Images)
The Portland Trail Blazers don't have a full-time general manger or a full-time coach and have entered a full-on tank, but owner Paul Allen said Thursday that doesn't mean his franchise is heading for the auction block.

Thursday morning, CSNNW.com reported that two groups had approached Allen with interest in purchasing the Blazers.

Within hours, Allen strongly denied the report on Twitter.

"It is absolutely false that I have entertained offers for the Portland Trail Blazers," Allen said. "Unnamed sources are wrong as usual. Why don't reporters check?"

CSNNW.com quoted Blazers president Larry Miller denying knowledge of any sale talk.

"My reaction is that I know absolutely nothing about that," Miller told the website. "I have no knowledge of any groups that have been talking to anyone down here, that's for sure. I would assume if that were the case I would know about it... "In the past, when Paul was thinking about it, I was in the loop. But that went away. Could there be something going on? Maybe...but I don't think so."

That statement repeated comments Miller made at a Mar. 15 press conference called to discuss the organization's decision to fire coach Nate McMillan.

"I think I would [know if he planned to sell the team]," Miller said. "I would hope that I would know. I would hope that if that were the case I would be aware of that and be involved in that. I can tell you right now that I have no knowledge of that."

Allen told a small group of reporters in December that he planned to own the Blazers for the foreseeable future.

"I have no plans to sell the team," he said at the time.

Since those comments, the Blazers have traded away two starters -- Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace -- for draft picks and young players on expiring contracts, clearly heading into a rebuilding mode after the losses of Brandon Roy and Greg Oden to knee injuries.

In December, Allen, who has battled cancer in recent years admitted that it would be difficult to continue owning the Blazers through another rebuilding effort.

"There's so many things that go with it," Allen said at the time. "Me, my health is a factor, other things are factors. I think at some point if I felt things were getting stale or if we were going to be a lottery team forever [or if] we went through a rebuilding process. Some of those years are tough, when you're winning 20-some games or whatever, those are tough years. If I felt like we were going right back into that, that would be a challenge... I can't give you a definitive answer because I think every owner at some point thinks, 'OK, what's the future going to be?'"

Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, purchased the Blazers in 1988 for $70 million. He also owns the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and a portion of the MLS's Seattle Sounders.
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