View Full Version : Blazers Lawsuit

1/24/2009, 09:04 AM
To paraphrase Denis Lemieux... "Who own'da Blazers?"

Well, we know it's Bob Funk. That much is clear. History tells us that in the heat of the battle that took place in late 1999 and early 2000 between the Blazers and the IHL in the form of Kansas City Blades owner Dan DeVos, Horn Chen sold the franchise to Bob Funk, Sr. for $6M (discounted from $8M). Selling to local interests was perhaps the only move the Blazers could make to retain the market, and retain the market they did.

But back to Denis... Who own'da Blazers?

You see, according to Chen, Funk still owes at least $1.6M on the sale. Funk's excuse for not paying? In the rush to get the sale done so that the Blazers could score political points with having local ownership, Funk took Chen at his word regard the franchise's financial status. Funk claims Chen withheld financial information regarding the true value of the team (http://webpages.charter.net/mactartan/Marc/OKCSuit/Funk_affivadit_Sept08.pdf), and goes so far as to claim the historical revenues stated in the prospectus were overstated by nearly 100% (http://webpages.charter.net/mactartan/Marc/OKCSuit/Motion_Summary_Judgment_Nov08.pdf). Finally, Funk claims that in lieu of the final payments, Funk retained the right to give Chen back 20% interest in the franchise.

And so here we are all these years later, and Chen is suing to get the rest of his money, somewhere between $1.6-$2.0M. Funk claims that the Blazers have never made money since his purchase, and that he's spent $5M of his own money keeping the team afloat (http://webpages.charter.net/mactartan/Marc/OKCSuit/Chen_letter_Jan07.pdf).

I've got a bunch of the legal documents from this case, but not everything. Comparing the financials in the Profit&Loss document (http://webpages.charter.net/mactartan/Marc/OKCSuit/PandLs.pdf) to those in the Prospectus (http://webpages.charter.net/mactartan/Marc/OKCSuit/Blazers_Prospectus_Sept_1999.pdf) authored before the sale of the team produces some significantly contradictory numbers. Brad Lund's deposition (http://webpages.charter.net/mactartan/Marc/OKCSuit/Lund_Deposition_Sept08.pdf) make him look not altogether bright, and when combined with the depositions of Tom Ebrey (http://webpages.charter.net/mactartan/Marc/OKCSuit/Ebrey_Affidavit_Nov08.pdf) and Andrea Boutwell (http://webpages.charter.net/mactartan/Marc/OKCSuit/Boutwell_Affidavit_Nov08.pdf) paints a sorry picture of the bookkeeping abilities of the team.

Pretty interesting stuff. There are several postulations that can be made based on these documents, but I'll not contaminate this discussion with my own theories about how this suit plays into recent events.

1/24/2009, 09:38 PM
With the attendance the Blazers have had, if they have lost $ then Funk is a ****ing idiot