Hey, the Sixers’ CEO Will Be the Devils’ CEO Too

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“Well, you know, Molly, it’s all about diversification. We’re considering buying the Cowboys and Mets as well.”

Joshua Harris is expected to complete his purchase of the New Jersey Devils tomorrow, my 30th birthday (in case any of you wanted to get me a present). John Gonzalez has been all over this story and he brings us this latest bit, which is, well, maddening:

Sources close to the situation have indicated that Joshua Harris’ investment group is expected to finalize the purchase of the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center on Thursday. Sources also tell CSNPhilly.com that Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil will be installed as the Devils’ CEO and serve in that capacity, simultaneously, for both teams.

WHAT? It’s one thing to own two teams, it’s another to serve as the managing President-CEO-Chariman-whatever. What does it say to a fan base to take the newly appointed CEO of the rebuilding Sixers and put him in charge of one of Philly’s biggest rivals? This is absurd. Sports franchises aren’t bargain bin assets, they’re businesses built, largely, on intangible relationships with their customers (fans). You can’t just gobble them up and put them beneath the same umbrella. It doesn’t work that way. Sure, Harris will get his money as sports teams’ values increase thanks to TV revenue, but I get the feeling that this isn’t the sort of situation where fans win. I mean… who wants the guy who runs the Sixers to run the Devils? Gross.

Meanwhile, last week, I threw some shit at the wall, positing that Harris could, in theory, move the Sixers, who rent from the Flyers, to North Jersey, where the Devils own their arena. Gonzo was told that won’t be the case:

Since the initial reports that Harris’ group was interested in purchasing the Devils, there was some concern that the Sixers — who currently play in the Comcast-Spectacor owned Wells Fargo Center — might move to Newark to play in the Prudential Center. Sources with knowledge of the situation indicate “that won’t happen,” and Harris is committed to keeping the team in Philadelphia.

There has also been some speculation in the media that purchasing the Devils might create friction between the Harris contingent and Flyers chairman Ed Snider and president Peter Luukko. According to people close to the Devils’ transaction, that isn’t the case. There are indications the Harris group might form a future partnership in some capacity with Comcast-Spectacor.

Man, you talk about incestuous relationships. I hate everything about this.

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  • Bob August 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Good! Maybe he can move the Sixers to North Jersey and Philadelphia can get a REAL team.

  • MM August 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Just squatted out your present, whats your address?

  • Six Super Bowls; Five World Series; Three Stanley Cups August 14, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Wow. What a kick in the ass it must be for you animals. The owner of an irrelevant franchise in an historically irrelevant sports city buys an NHL team that (like the vast majority of NHL teams) knows success and winning that dwarfs your Mickey Mouse little hockey franchise. I imagine there’s lots of fussing and gnashing of teeth in every Kenso watering hole in your God-foresaken armpit of the woods. God, you have no idea how fantastic it is to have real sports franchises. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    • Sidney fucks Malkins mouth August 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Die a slow, painful death you rotten yinzer.

    • Alex August 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      I live in Pittsburgh but am a philly fan and up until the end of july the pirates were irrelevant in regard to the fans. I know because they called me to beg for me to buy tickets since i bought tickets to see my phillies play. The steelers are the real deal and if the penguins didnt mess their books up so bad that a judge ruled that the penguins needed to pay lemieux his back salary by giving him the team, they would be in kansas city. You can talk about all the championships that Pittsburgh has but only the Steelers truly matter here.

    • Jeff August 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Remember when your hockey team almost got sold to a cornfield and no one even realized it until they got crosby? Sixers are bottom of the barrell here but people are pissed because they still follow them. So how bout doing us all a favor and shut your fuckin mouth, hop off that ugly black and piss bandwagon, and fuck yourself.

      • Alex August 14, 2013 at 9:35 pm

        Well said, but what does the genius from Pittsburgh know about basketball anyway…unless he cheers for the Pittsburgh Pisces with his Moses Guthrie poster in his bedroom (which he doesn’t realize is really the great Sixer Dr. J!)

    • Jon Kruk's Other Nut August 14, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      Usually when you call something “irrelevant,” it’s assumed you’re talking about its actual relevance, not its ranking in some bullshit Candy Crush trophy game.

      Also, I know I didn’t just see a Pirates fan bragging about World Series trophies, and not just because there are no Pirates fans.

      I knew I should have bought the Penguins when they were on the table at the flea market. I could have moved them to Cleveland where they belong.

    • You live in pittsburgh August 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      you live in pittsburgh man.

    • MI-CK-EY-MOR-AN-DI-NI August 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      yeah but they parade around the parking lot.

  • MM August 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Pittsburgh pisces were the tits, set shot buford should be in the hall of fame

  • You live in pittsburgh August 14, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    i’d rather be sucked off by sandusky than live in pittsburgh!

  • You live in pittsburgh August 14, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    also you know you live in pittsburgh when you have the time to troll philly blogs! because you’re unemployed! hahaha shitsburgh what a joke!

  • You live in pittsburgh August 14, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    ALSO YOU FUCKING YINZER WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOUR BELOVED PENGUINS PLAYED THE FLYERS WHEN IT MATTERED? THEY GOT SHIT ON! i hope they dont raid your apartment soon! oh shit whats the sound? oh its just crosby blowing your landlord so you don’t get foreclosed on!

    • Alex August 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

      It is called reading comprehension. I live in Pittsburgh but am a Philly fan. Therefore i don’t troll but rather read about my beloved teams. I grew up in the philly burbs.

    • Meatchaser August 15, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Seriously. You make intelligent or well, normal Philadelphians like myself look ridiculous with your last 3 posts. That is all very embarrassing and you are the type of fan I look at during a baseball or hockey game and want to punch in the face. This is why people in other cities make fun of us. For God’s Sake, shut up. And, take a bath.

  • @kingofbluebell August 15, 2013 at 1:52 am

    You know who else said they wouldn’t move a franchise.. The owners of the now Oklahoma City Thunder.

    • ThePhillyFlash August 15, 2013 at 4:42 am

      There’s a difference. Philadelphia is a top five population market, the NBA won’t allow the city not to have a team, even if they stink like yesterday’s diapers, also, the Knicks and Nets won’t go for it because they don’t want competition in their territory. On top of that, the Sixers are locked in something like a twenty year lease with Comcast-Spectacor to play at the WFC. Long story short, the Sixers aren’t going anywhere.

  • sean brace is worthless August 15, 2013 at 9:34 am

    kyle scott’s mother is a whore

  • Bob Brovski August 15, 2013 at 11:48 am

    have you seen the sixers lately? yeah the devils arent very good but its not like hes going to make them BETTER just takes another team the Flyers have to beat out of the equation

  • Uncle Meat August 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    This makes me SICK. It’s like sleeping in bed with your wife knowing she’ll be in someone else’s bed the next night…someone you HATE. (For the record, I don’t HATE the Devils, I just don’t like them. The pens are another story.)

  • NickFromGermantown August 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Would you rather Ed Snider own the Sixers instead just so we can keep our ownership consistent on a local basis?

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