Report: Portland Owner Paul Allen Torpedoes NBA Labor Talks

Saturday October 22nd, 2011

Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen was "the Grim Reaper" of this week's federally mediated NBA labor discussions, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

According to Wojnarowski, Allen -- who was strongly in favor of quickly ending the 1998-99 NBA lockout -- has swung to the opposite side of the labor spectrum and stands as a powerful hardline voice determined to do whatever it takes to avoid giving up anything extra to the players' side. Wojnarowski quotes an unnamed NBA official who supports this theory:

“He’s been the most vociferous lately that [the owners] have given up too much to the players, that they should be holding out for a hard cap, for 40 percent to the players [on the revenue split]. No one has gone after the labor committee harder about this than him.”

The report further speculates that Allen's change of heart stems from his loss of interest in the NBA; his actions at the labor talks could then be seen as the owner laying the groundwork for the sale of the Trail Blazers.

talks fell apart Thursday
SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.