OAKLAND, Calif. ---
It is no coincidence, it seems, that two months after Ellison told Oracle shareholders he was trying to purchase the Golden State Warriors, owner
After all, what does Cohan have to lose? He announces the team is for sale, which is an open invitation for Ellison's attachés to make contact and extend an offer.
At the same time, Cohan allows anybody and everybody to compete against Ellison for control of the franchise. Some may just want to get their names in the news, publicity for getting into a bidding war against the sixth-wealthiest man in the world.
But some may actually be serious, and the more genuine suitors there are, the more Cohan's ultimate take increases.
You can hardly walk down a boulevard in Silicon Valley without tripping over somebody worth several hundred million. A real estate agent recently told me of a story about a 25-year-old Google employee who was shopping for a $20 million home -- and he was pre-approved for the loan.
Now think internationally. Russian billionaire
Then he trounced arch-nemesis Alinghi in the America's Cup. Then he purchased the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament and the Indian Wells complex in which it's played for $100 million. He has recently contracted, it seems, an unquenchable thirst for the sports high. And Cohan has positioned himself to take advantage.
Sources have told SI.com that Cohan previously was seeking at least $400 million. Here's his thinking: The Charlotte Bobcats were just sold to
The economy has changed since that time, "but not as much as you might think," Sarver said on Monday night from the Suns' locker room before Phoenix played Golden State. "Obviously, it is a great market here. They have great fans here. I think they have one of the best fans bases in the league. It is a big market. There is a lot of wealth in this market. If [Cohan] chooses to sell the team, that is his business. But I'm sure there will be plenty of demand for it. I think this will trade at a hefty number."
And if Cohan does not get the number he desires, all he has to do is take the franchise off the market. He has lost nothing but the money used to hire the consulting firm conducting the sale. What
Even with only 19 victories this season, the Warriors still maintain nearly 10,000 season tickets, a figure many organizations in the league desperately covet. Imagine the marketing and sponsorship opportunities if the team actually gets an ownership group that makes wise personnel decisions and achieves postseason success. "To me, their fans are as good as any in this league," Suns coach
What the latest development means for the organization, as a whole, remains to be seen. There is trepidation, to be sure, but until there is a tangible buyer, it does no good to worry.
Least of all for coach
Nelson has one year at $6 million left on his latest contract. It appears the team is poised to bring Nelson back despite the difficult season, reasoning that they'd be far better if everybody was healthy and that he's done a good job keeping the Warriors competitive in most games despite a roster full of developmental league players. Nelson knows an ownership change likely means the end of his career, but he showed little concern in a pre-game news conference.
"I am 70 years old," Nelson said. "My future is clear. I have one more year left and I am going to retire. It's going to be business as usual as far as I'm concerned."
Nelson has said publicly he would coach one more year for free. But, he said, he does not hold that promise for a new owner.
"That was for Chris Cohan," Nelson said.
Without any immediate clarity, the Warriors trudge along conducting everyday activities, general manager
It is the nature of a franchise in transition.
But at the very least, after 15 long and arduous years, there seems to be a way around the firewall.