Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Golden State For Sale

In truth, it's only one of the four NBA teams in the Golden State that's for sale, but it's the only one that calls itself "Golden State".

I speak, of course, of the Warriors, a franchise that has withered under semi-absentee ownership for lo, these many years.

Or has it? Published reports indicate there's plenty of interest among would-be buyers. Big names like software tycoon Larry Ellison and health club tycoon Mark Mastrov are being mentioned. And supposedly, Chinese money is interested.

That money from China is intriguing. As the old saying goes, a billion people can't be wrong. China already has a bona fide NBA star in Yao Ming, a burgeoning economy, and, well, a billion people. If the Warriors become China's Choice, it could be huge. Think of the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Yankees and their worldwide brand equity.

The new owner of the New Jersey Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, already has designs on his native Russia as a new sphere of influence for the NBA. Prokhorov appears to have the money and the hubris to pull it off. But can Prokhorov penetrate China?

It may be hard to wrap your brain around a future where the hapless Warriors become A Big Deal, but it really could happen.

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