- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
Pair sue ex-76ers owner over $2M finder’s fee
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Two sports executives have sued former Philadelphia 76ers owner Comcast-Spectacor seeking a $2 million finder’s fee over the team’s October sale.
Plaintiffs Robert Whitsitt and Thomas Shine say they introduced investor Jason Levien to Comcast-Spectacor chairman Edward Snider at a lunch meeting late last year. They say they were promised $2 million if they found a purchaser and met certain other conditions.
New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris led an ownership group that completed the purchase in October. Levien, a former NBA player agent and Sacramento Kings executive, is one of numerous owners and investors in a group that includes co-managing owner David Blitzer and Hollywood power couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Whitsitt is the former president of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. Shine is an executive at Canton, Mass.-based Reebok International Ltd.
Comcast-Spectacor challenges the merits of their claims and plans to vigorously defend the suit, spokesman Ike Richman said.
According to the lawsuit, Comcast-Spectacor has previously rejected the plaintiffs’ fee demand on grounds Levien is not a controlling owner and that it paid a finder’s fee to someone else. The plaintiffs call that logic “frivolous” and say it differs from the written agreement.
The agreement, as excerpted in their lawsuit, promises a $2 million finder’s fee if Shine and Whitsitt find a purchaser to serve as the controlling owner, “or another person designated by purchaser with the consent of club owner.”
The NBA defines a controlling owner as someone with at least a 15 percent equity stake in the franchise who also manages the operations, according to the suit.
“In July 2011, there was an agreement between the club owner and a purchaser (consisting in part of Jason Levien) whereby a person designated by the purchaser became the `controlling owner’ of the club,” the lawsuit states.
The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported Wednesday on the breach-of-contract lawsuit, which was filed a day earlier in federal court in Philadelphia. The plaintiffs are also seeking interest and legal fees.
The 76ers haven’t won a playoff series since 2003 and have gone years without turning a profit. Snider, who called the shots the last 15 years, told The Associated Press this year that massive financial losses led the company to strike the deal to sell the team in July.
The team’s new owners have slashed ticket prices to try to fill seats and raise revenues.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- Washington Redskins' 2014 schedule opens with Texans
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014