Bulls pay a price in victory over Wolves
Published: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Chicago also lost guard Chris Duhon to a bruised jaw after he took a shot to the face in the second quarter.
Hinrich hit 10 of 18 shots and finished with nine assists as the Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak. Luol Deng added 24 points and 10 rebounds and Andres Nocioni scored 20 points.
Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
Commissioner David Stern said the league wants to find a way to help the Trail Blazers stop losing money in order to keep the team in Portland. Owner Paul Allen made team finances public last week, estimating the Blazers could lose $100 million over the next three years.
Lance Conn, the head of Allen's investment firm, Vulcan Capital, blamed what he called the worst arena lease in the NBA, along with a lack of a public subsidy for the Rose Garden, the home of the Blazers.
The announcement set off a flurry of meetings with state and city officials, and Stern said he has scheduled "lots of meetings" in person and by telephone in the coming week.
"It's our preference, our strong preference, to have the Blazers in Portland, in Oregon, playing at the Rose Garden and being able to be a financial success," Stern said.
But he acknowledged the public outcry over the possibility of a subsidy for a billionaire owner would make it difficult to build support.
"Those are decisions best left to elected officials, but there are choices that have to be made," Stern said.
"Just because you have the money doesn't mean you have to spend it," he added. "Throwing good money after bad is not what a successful businessman will do for very long."
Stern noted the Rose Garden was financed by Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., without public money. But the team's sister company, Oregon Arena Corp., declared bankruptcy in 2004 and Allen chose to give up ownership rather than continue to pay interest on construction debt.
As a result, team revenue has declined sharply, along with ticket sales, down by a third from five years ago.
"Right now they're in a pretty untenable situation," Stern said.
Steve Crosby, a Vulcan spokesman in Seattle, declined to give any details about whether the team is seeking help from the city.
"Paul has been committed to the team for a long time, but we really need help here," Crosby said. "And Commissioner Stern laid it out nicely. We're looking at all options."
Crosby also declined to say whether the team is seeking any change in its lease with Global Spectrum, which took over management of the Rose Garden. Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, operates the home arena for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team.
Mike Scanlon, Global Spectrum's manager for the Rose Garden, said the company has chosen not to comment.
"We're just running the building," Scanlon said, noting the team lease on the arena runs to 2025.
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