By DWIGHT JAYNES (@dwightjaynes)
Paul Allen has been miffed at me, as you probably know by now. He tweeted this a few days ago:
Dwight & Canzano get played by unnamed sources & show true colors lobbying for a sale of @pdxtrailblazers. The team is not for sale period!
It's funny to me that Paul would say something about my "true colors" after all these years. I am one of the few reporters left in the market who still regularly covers the team who was here when he purchased the franchise from Larry Weinberg. He knows, after all this time, I'm not out to get him.
He knows, I think, that I have always appreciated and liked him. And I hope he understands that when I said it's time for him to sell the team, I believed it to be in HIS best interests. I believe the upcoming rebuilding job is going to be another painful one and I'm just not sure he wants to invest his emotions in that major undertaking once again.
As far as my thoughts on the concept of him selling the team, I have excellent sources. Now if those sources have it wrong or are misleading me, you can rest assured when I find that out, I will say so and set the record straight. I have been wrong before -- who hasn't? But I trust my sources -- they are among the most well-informed people in the sports business.
If Paul knew where I was getting my information he'd say one of two things: "Who is trying to sell my teams without my knowledge?" or "Who leaked this story?"
And even in light of Allen's denials I stand by my story.
(Side note: With all that's gone on with this team over the years, I've NEVER seen him deny ANYTHING this fully and completely -- which seems strange to me. Even with all the misinformation that was out there about Kevin Pritchard or Tom Penn firings, Allen never disputed anything to this degree. It's almost as if this is being denied too much.)
Since Allen's denials and since this story, featuring NBA President David Stern's firm assurances that the team is not for sale, I've gotten even more reports that, in fact, this story "has legs."
I also believe that Timbers owner Merritt Paulson is a major player in the talks involving purchasing the Trail Blazers.
Now keep in mind, too, that I've never said Allen is going to sell. He's been to the brink of that previously and just couldn't part with this franchise. It may well come to that again. But he's got a lot of other things going on in his life right now -- including this enormously ambitious project that would send private citizens into outer space.
That thing is going to take a lot of his time, attention and bank account.
History will prove me right or wrong about what I've written and it's going to take time for that -- whether the team is sold or not -- to happen. I'm comfortable with that. I'm patient with it.
And I'm sure Paul Allen is, too. So let's all wait and see.