Report: Nike co-founder Phil Knight continues efforts to purchase Trail Blazers

TEMPE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 23: Founder and current chairman emeritus of Nike, Inc Phil Knight stands on the sidelines before the NCAAF game between the Oregon Ducks and the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 23, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phil Knight still wants to buy the Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

It's been a year since Nike co-founder Phil Knight and real estate developer Alan Smolinisky made a $2 billion offer to purchase the Portland Trail Blazers. With each effort being met by denial, the pair is still attempting to buy the franchise, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal's Rachel Bachman.

Microsoft co-founder and Blazers owner Paul Allen died from cancer in 2018, leaving instructions to sell his assets. Jody Allen, his 64-year-old sister, became executor of his estate, which also includes the Seattle Seahawks. She and Vulcan Inc., the corporation that manages Allen family businesses, maintain that there is no timetable to sell any of it.

Knight and Smolinisky have reportedly sent unanswered emails and handwritten letters, even offering more than their initial bid after the Phoenix Suns and the Mercury went for a whopping $4 billion earlier this year.

“As Jody publicly said last year, the sports teams are not for sale,” a spokesman for Vulcan Inc. told The Wall Street Journal. “That will eventually change pursuant to Paul’s wishes, but there is no pre-ordained timeline for when that will happen. Interested parties can engage when we establish a sales process at some point in the future.”

In the statement the spokesperson referenced, Allen added her and the team's focuses will remain on winning, as "estates of this size and complexity can take 10 to 20 years to wind down."

Two days after her 2022 statement, a report from the New York Post alleged her behavior was "toxic" and spilling into her management of the team. This included allegations she harassed bodyguards and violated U.S. import laws.

She was also accused of refusing to speak with star Damian Lillard about his issues with the direction of the team he's played for since 2012. While it's unclear if the two were ever able to have that conversation, the seven-time All-NBA selection is currently preparing for the third season of his four-year contract with Portland.