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Noise around Josh Harris buying the Washington Commanders picking up steam

The Sixers’ managing partner could soon own yet another of the city’s sports rivals.

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NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Barkley Statue Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Back in January, we heard Philadelphia 76ers principal owner and managing partner Josh Harris was a top candidate to buy the NFL’s Washington Commanders, for sale as everyone in the sports world just wants current owner Dan Snyder to go away. The Washington organization has had allegations placed against it for systemic sexual harrassment and misconduct cases spanning decades, which have come before the House Oversight Committee. A recent NFL player survey found Washington to be the worst team to play for based upon workplace conditions. So yeah, some change at the top is long overdue, and it appears Harris is still firmly in the running.

As you well know, Harris is no stranger to the sports ownership game. In addition to the Sixers, he is principal owner and managing partner of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and general partner in the EPL’s Crystal Palace franchise. He also was interested in purchasing the New York Mets back in 2020, although Steve Cohen eventually purchased the MLB franchise for $2.4 billion. Harris collects sports teams like a 10-year-old does Pokemon cards.

Per The Washington Post, adding Rales should help Harris’ chances at landing the Commanders, who have at least three known potential buyers and with Snyder seeking a $6 billion sale price.

“Rales’s net worth places him among the D.C. area’s richest billionaires. His participation not only adds to the Harris group’s financial heft but also adds a strong local tie that would be an asset to a new ownership group.”

Harris is certainly free to do what he pleases with his money. Who among us wouldn’t go around buying sports teams, essentially a risk-free return on investment that also grants you clout and notoriety within a particular area locale, if they had the spare change lying around in the couch cushions to do so?

Sixers fans might worry, however, that the petty cash bin could eventually be depleted even for a billionaire. Harris could be looking at money up front for a $6 billion NFL franchise, possible construction costs and associated purchases pertaining to a Center City arena complex for the Sixers, etc. The available funds have to dwindle at some point, right? (Probably not.) Concerns might be raised about business decisions overriding basketball decisions. We just wouldn’t want to see moves made solely for tax relief or second-round picks sold off for cash. We’ve seen that film before and sports isn’t the entertainment vehicle we turn to for the cringe horror genre.

But that’s a bridge we’ll cross if and when we come to it. For now, let’s enjoy the thought of Dan Snyder soon being out of our lives, whether it’s Harris and company buying the Commanders or another bidder. And for all the Eagles fans reading, don’t worry too much about a potential Harris-led ownership group making the Commanders a threat in the NFC East. The Devils have only made the NHL playoffs twice (counting this year where they’re a lock to do so) in the 10 years he has owned that franchise.

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