Has Karen Davidson found someone to take the NBA's 4th most valuable franchise off her hands?
According to the Detroit Sports Rag, she has:
Jeff Moss is reporting that David Katzman will soon become the new owner of the Detroit Pistons, acquiring a majority ownership position from the Davidson family.
Moss’ sources (who also correctly predicted the firing of Rick Carlisle days before the firing was reported in the mainstream media) are stating the Katzman has severed ties with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans in anticipation of this move.
David Katzman is currently part owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Vice Chairman for Quicken Loans.
Not so fast, though. There is nothing around the 'net, aside from this report, about Katzman severing ties with the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans, much less becoming the next Pistons owner. And the parenthetical, citing that this "source" was right about something 7-8 years ago, doesn't exactly scream credibility. Most importantly, who is Jeff Moss and who is his "source"?
However, this "source," who correctly predicted the Rick Carlisle firing in 2002-2003, also told Moss sometime around December 22 that Karen Davidson was not seeing eye-to-eye with Tom Wilson. A month later, and out of the blue, Karen Davidson admitted that she is trying to sell the team. Interesting. Maybe, just maybe, DSR was on to something then and perhaps there is some truth to this David Katzman rumor.
At the onset of the "Pistons for sale" talks, a couple rumors fluttered about the possibility of Dan Gilbert, current majority owner of the Cavs, buying the franchise, but those were unrealistic and quickly squashed. If Gilbert didn't already own the Cavs, then he would have made sense for the role -- he was born and raised in Detroit, went to undergrad and grad school in Michigan, and still resides there with his wife and kids. Of course, being one of the Forbes 400, money would not have been an issue.
Similarly, Katzman is a Michigan man. He did his undergrad at Michigan State and attended law school at Detroit. Despite owning part of the Cavs, he is still centralized in the greater Detroit area. Mix in that Katzman has been a rather successful business man and it's certainly feasible that he could be a potential suitor for the Pistons.
We might not be as close to having the next Pistons owner as DSR reports, but I do think this could be the first realistic option to buy the Pistons (and one that would presumably keep them in Michigan). Only time will tell if this rumor comes into fruition.
UPDATE 11:40 AM EST: This from Rob Otto at MLIVE:
A Pistons representative points out it would be impossible at this time for Katzman to buy the team, because it isn't actually for sale yet:
"Mrs. Davidson is only exploring the possibility of selling the team at this point. They haven't even gotten to the point of putting it up for sale. You can't buy it if it's not for sale, and officially the Pistons are not for sale."
- Pistons expected to be at full strength tonight -- MLIVE
- If you write something bad about Tayshaun Prince, he wants to explode -- Piston Powered
- Pistons have a chance at a winning streak? -- Detroit News
OK, I'm verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves until game time tonight.