Philadelphia 76ers have new owners led by Josh Harris

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Philadelphia 76ers have new owners. The sale of the team became official today when the NBA approved the same to Josh Harris and his business partners.

Harris’ agreement ends a 15-year run with Comcast-Spectacor. Harris’ group also includes former sports agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien, David Blitzer, and Art Wrubel.

Ed Snider, the former 76ers owner and Comcast-Spectacor executive, had bought the team from Harold Katz in 1996. Snider still owns the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center.

“Over the last 15 years, a number of different individuals or entities have inquired about purchasing the Sixers, and to be honest, I was not looking to sell the team,” said Snider. “But in discussions with Josh and his partners, it became clear that this was an offer that made sense for the franchise and for the future of Comcast-Spectacor.”

The announcement was made with the NBA season in flux. The NBA and NBPA are battling over a new contract.

The two sides met again today with a mediator. Just yesterday, both sides met separately with the mediator.

Earlier this year, Forbes valued the 76ers at $330 million. That is the 17th-best in the NBA.

The new owners do not have to worry about a television deal. Why? The 76ers have a deal with Comcast SportsNet that runs through the 2029 season.

“On behalf of my partners, I genuinely want to thank Ed Snider and Comcast Spectacor for choosing us to steward the Philadelphia 76ers, a storied NBA franchise,” said Harris. “We are excited to be writing a new chapter in Sixers lore. I also want to thank Comcast Spectacor for their gracious assistance during the transition.”

In addition to new owners, the Sixers have named Adam Aron as the Chief Executive Officer. Aron was previously the chairman and CEO of Vail Resort.

Actors Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith have also made investments into the team.

“I’m excited about celebrating and building on the extraordinary heritage of the 76ers, the third winngest team in NBA history,” said Aron. “We will work tirelessly to make Philadelphia sports fans proud.”

Once the NBA goes back to work, if there is not a canceled season, the 76ers have to make two big decisions. First, they will have to decide the future of forward Andre Iguodala.

Iguodala has been the face of the franchise since the team traded away the other A. I., Allen Iverson, several years ago. Iguodala has also heard his name in trade rumors the past year, too.

During the season, Iguodala was rumored to be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. That rumor failed to happen and he remained with the team.

At the NBA draft, Iguodala was rumored to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a straight up swap for Lamar Odom. That trade did not happen, either.

While Iguodala’s future is up in the air, the 76ers are stuck with the huge contract of Elton Brand. Brand has several years left on his current contract.

Brand is the highest-paid 76er with nearly $18 million due after the lockout. The 76ers have tried to get rid of Brand, too, but his contract is affecting a move.

Whether Iguodala and Brand is apart of the 76ers future, the team has struggled in the playoffs in recent years. They only have one playoff victory since 2001.

The 2001 season was the 76ers best season since 1983. In 2001, the Sixers made the NBA Finals, but lost to the Lakers in 5 games. In 1983, the team beat the Lakers for the championship.

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