Friday, August 9, 2013

215 Basketball: Josh Harris to purchase New Jersey Devils

August 9, 2013

By Nick Tricome

The Sixers won't be the only team Joshua Harris owns anymore.

On Friday, Harris added the New Jersey Devils to his list.

Harris has agreed with current Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek on the money it will take to purchase the NHL team, according to Fox 29 and 94 WIP's Howard Eskin (via Twitter).

Vanderbeek is $230 million in debt, but Harris' purchase will cover that, according to Eskin.

Vanderbeek owns both the Devils and their home arena the Prudential Center in Newark, so it would seem likely that the sale will include both.

The news comes just over an hour after reports were released stating that the Sixers are in contract negotiations to make Brett Brown their new head coach.

Harris' purchase of the Devils could create a reasonable cause for concern among Sixers fans.

Ed Snider owned both the Sixers and the Flyers before Harris bought the team from Comcast-Spectacor in 2011.

Under Snider's ownership, however, it always felt like the Sixers were second fiddle to the Flyers, who Snider founded in 1966.

Harris having a dual ownership of the Sixers and the Devils could allow the Sixers to fall back into the same hole they were in under Snider's control. However, the same is also possible for the Devils. Even both teams thriving or failing at the same time is a possibility.

As mentioned earlier, a sale of the Devils will probably include the Prudential Center, giving Harris his own arena.

Could this mean that a relocation to Newark is in the Sixers' future? Yes, but that has a very small chance of happening.

Harris and the rest of the Sixers' minority owners signed a reportedly long term lease to have the team continue playing in the Wells Fargo Center when they bought the franchise two years ago, according to's John Gonzalez.

That lease contains “significant lease provisions and protections” that make it very difficult to break from, according to Gonzalez.

Ultimately, the Sixers, more than likely, won't be going anywhere.

The bigger concern will likely be for Harris and how he is going to get Flyers fans on board with the Sixers, when they know that he owns one of the Flyers' division rivals.

(Image from NBC Sports)

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