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#1
Josh Harris is finally having some fun being an owner of sports franchises in three cities Preston Brown Color Rush Jersey , three leagues and two continents.

It’s been a long wait for Harris, who has led investment groups that bought the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA in 2011, the New Jersey Devils of the NHL in 2013 and a share of Crystal Palace of the Premier League in England in 2015.

After years of losing, the Sixers and Devils finally returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

”You see the bags under my eyes,” said Harris, who has been doing a lot of traveling since the postseason started.

The 76ers, winners of 10 games just two seasons ago, beat the Miami Heat in five games in the opening round of the NBA playoffs.

The Devils lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Even overseas, Harris has seen a turnaround. After going seven straight league games without scoring to begin the season, London-based Crystal Palace is close avoiding relegation.

”I think that what it is is validation,” Harris said during an interview late Wednesday at the Devils’ headquarters at the Prudential Center.

”All these teams we started with a long-range plan and a real strategy about what we wanted to accomplish. We knew it would take several years to get there. We inherited situations that were not set up as well as we would have liked.

”So this is more validation of what we thought. It’s much more fun to be going to games and matches now than to be planning for the draft lottery.”

Harris has seen the Devils transform from an older team to a younger team that skates as well as any franchise in the league. Hiring former Pittsburgh Penguins executive Ray Shero to be his general manager has played a major part in the makeover along with following a plan that built the organization around scouting, analytics Justus Annunen Blackhawks Jersey , sports science and acquiring players who fit into a set culture that stresses a fast, attacking style and teamwork.

After a horrible 2016-17 season in which they finished last in the Eastern Conference, the Devils rode the play of forward Taylor Hall and No. 1 overall draft pick Nico Hischier to a 27-point improvement and a playoff berth.

They just ran into a better and more playoff-ready team in the postseason.

”We have said all along we are not going to rest until we win a Stanley Cup,” said Harris, who along with partner David Blitzer, led a group that paid $320 million for a majority share of the Devils, which included the rights to operate Prudential Center arena. ”It’s not easy to do that. Everyone says it, but we are serious about it. This is a stepping stone, but a good stepping stone.”

Blitzer is a partner in all three franchises.

Harris said the Devils need to add more talent to improve, having their existing players get better and to continue to develop their young players in the minor leagues. He said he would gladly spend to get the right elite player.

”As this young team comes together, this is a little analogous to Philly on the basketball side, where you start to see what you have and what you need Gleyber Torres New York Yankees Jersey ,” Harris said.

”When you are building that, it’s a little hard to figure what you need. When you go into the free agency market, you need to know what you need because typically in the free agent market it is very competitive. You get 80 cents of value[Image: nike_cowboys_3230.jpg]
for a dollar because it a competitive market, so you need to know what you need.”

Money is something Harris understands. He is an equity investor who co-founded Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s largest alternative investment firms.

His group spent $280 million to buy the 76ers from Comcast Spectacor in 2011.

Philadelphia was the hottest team in the NBA postseason, winning its final 16 games to finish 52-30 behind the play of Joel Embiid and rookie Ben Simmons.

After its winless start, Crystal Palace has an 8-11-9 record (wins, ties and losses) for 35 points. It is in 14th place in the 20-team league, with three regular season games left.

Harris and Blitzer each own 18 percent of the soccer club along with club chairman Steve Parish.



More NHL hockey: Stephen Curry and LeBron James spoke their minds last year. They have not changed their minds this year.

No matter whose team wins the NBA championship, neither superstar will be at the White House anytime soon.

On the day when the Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to be there to commemorate winning the Super Bowl – a visit that was canceled by President Donald Trump and had the White House accusing players who weren’t planning on attending of abandoning their fans – Curry and James were among those speaking out at the NBA Finals in support of the Eagles.

”I’m not surprised. It’s typical of him,” James, the Cleveland star http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chad-thomas-jersey , said Tuesday of Trump’s decision to cancel. ”I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. So it won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”

On the eve of Game 3 of the Warriors-Cavaliers series, politics dominated the conversation.

Curry raised Trump’s ire last year when he said he wouldn’t go to the White House, prompting the President to disinvite him and the champion Golden State Warriors.

Curry said Tuesday that he spoke with a current Eagles player about the team’s decision-making process and how it went deeper than disagreeing with Trump policies and the ongoing issue of some NFL players choosing not to stand for the pregame playing of ”The Star-Spangled Banner.”

”It’s an important conversation, but you can’t control what other people try to do, or try to control the narrative or things like that,” Curry said.

Curry said the team has been on the same page after his comments last year and Trump’s subsequent revoking of the Warriors’ invitation. ”And every team that’s won a championship since then has gone through that.”

There has been clear tension between many star athletes and the current administration throughout the Trump presidency. Trump has often blasted the NFL players who have kneeled for the national anthem, a protest that started in 2016 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did so to raise awareness of racism – more specifically, the killing of black men by police.

Trump said the Eagles’ event was called off because some of their players ”disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.”

No Eagles players kneeled during the anthem last season.

”Instead the decision was made to lie, and paint the picture that these players are anti-America http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-donte-jackson-jersey , anti-flag and anti-military,” the Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins wrote in a statement posted to social media Tuesday .

The WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx were not invited to the White House to celebrate their most recent title, something James called ”laughable.” Instead, the Lynx will spend Wednesday giving away new sneakers to more than 300 needy kids in Washington. Villanova, the reigning NCAA men’s champion, has not revealed if an invitation was sent. Many members of the U.S. Olympic Team that competed earlier this year in South Korea did not attend a White House reception.

Hockey’s Pittsburgh Penguins and baseball’s Houston Astros have accepted invitations to the White House for the traditional meeting with the President in recent months, as have several college teams. When the New England Patriots went last year, half the team chose not to attend.

The Warriors, in lieu of going to the White House, spent that day taking a group of children to the National Museum of African American History and Culture a few miles away.

”I think the President has made it pretty clear he’s going to try to divide us, all of us in this country, for political gain Jalyn Holmes Color Rush Jersey ,” said Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who has often criticized Trump and his policies. ”So it’s just the way it is. I think we all look forward to the day when we can go back to just having a celebration of athletic achievement and celebrate Americans for their achievement, their good deeds.”

Kerr also lauded the Eagles for being what he called ”fantastic citizens in their own community.”

”It will be nice when we can just get back to normal in three years,” Kerr said.

The overwhelming issue surrounding the Eagles’ planned visit was that most of the team was not going to attend, and that was a major factor in Trump deciding to pull the invitation.

”What else do you expect Trump to do?” Golden State’s Kevin Durant said. ”When somebody says they don’t want to come to the White House, he disinvites them. So the photo op don’t look bad. We get it at this point. But it’s good that guys are sticking to what they believe in and what they want to do. Like guys said before me, I’m sure whoever wins this series won’t be going.”

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#2
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#4
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