Billionaire Michael Rubin, founder and executive chairman of Fanatics, has increased his equity in the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, according to league sources.
Following a shake-up of limited partners, Rubin added 2% to his portfolio and now owns almost 10% of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the company that holds both franchises, plus the Prudential Center, esports organization New Meta and a handful of other sports and entertainment assets. He is the group’s third largest shareholder, behind managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer.
76ers general manager Elton Brand has met with several top candidates for the franchise’s head coach opening and the team expects to bring a shortlist of candidates to the Philadelphia area within 10 days for the next round of interviews, sources said. Former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, ex-Thunder coach Billy Donovan and Clippers assistant Ty Lue are expected to be part of the next round of interviews and are strongly vying for and interested in the position, according to sources.
Philadelphia remains intent on building and adding talent under Brand to further strengthen the front office. Brand is well-respected by his peers across the NBA, agents and basketball industry executives. In addition to leading the head coaching search, Brand is having conversations with multiple NBA front-office personnel to bolster his staff. For the 76ers, Brand continues to be the leader of basketball operations.----Charania
Brand has been given credit publicly for most of the Sixers' key decisions since he was named GM two years ago. But the owners and other front-office people have been more deeply involved than the team has admitted.
Still, he met with the team’s ownership on Monday to discuss a new contract, according to multiple sources. Sources added Brand was expecting to get a three- or four-year deal.
Looking for someone to add below Brand isn’t surprising to league sources, who always questioned ownership’s seriousness in regard to giving up its control to a team president.
They’ve said it’s hard to tell who’s in charge due to ownership’s earlier-than-expected involvement. Sources have been saying since last week that the job is D’Antoni’s to turn down. They say he’s the guy the ownership group wants. One source even said the 69-year-old would have to bomb his interview with the Sixers owners not to be offered the job.
Time will tell what happens with the coaching job left vacant when Brett Brown was fired on Aug. 24. However, league sources said questions about the Sixers' first-office structure have concerned some qualified would-be candidates.
They were also concerned that Embiid’s close relationship with ownership would have an impact on a coach’s authority. Another concern was Embiid and Ben Simmons being empowered to think they have a hand in the coaching hire. The sources also wonder who’s actually in charge, even though the Sixers keep saying it’s Brand.
No one should be surprised that he wasn’t the final decision-maker during his first two years as GM. They picked Brand partly because he was agreeable to collaborative decision-makin
Brand has been criticized for the questionable draft picks, trades, and free-agent signees that have set the franchise back. But he’s still deemed to be in charge of the coaching search.That in itself can be used as an indicator of how much of a voice he had. Sources have said executive vice president of basketball operations Alex Rucker has been heavily involved behind the scenes.
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