PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Philadelphia 76ers fans cheer during the second half of their 86-82 win over the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 24, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

NBA Approves Joshua Harris' Purchase Of Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers have been sold to Joshua Harris, a 46 year-old billionaire from New York City. The NBA's owners have approved the deal.

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NBA Approves Joshua Harris' Purchase Of Philadelphia 76ers

The NBA announced early Tuesday that its owners had unanimously approved the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers to New York-based investor Joshua Harris. Word that Harris had bid to purchase the Sixers from Comcast-Spectator broke last spring, with a deal worth a reported $280 million being reached in July.

The sale approval comes in a quite odd time for the league, as the NBA lockout has been underway for 109 days. Another team, the Atlanta Hawks, is reportedly working through the sale process, albeit on a different timeline than the Sixers. Comcast's sale of the Sixers represents a 57 percent return on an initial investment made in 1996. The Sixers made one NBA Finals trip during that span, in Allen Iverson's heyday.

Harris has remained out of the public eye up until now, though a press conference is expected soon. Harris' group has said it will remain tenants of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia (owned by Comcast-Spectator) and will remain a partner of Comcast Sports Philly, its local broadcaster.

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Philadelphia 76ers' Sale To Joshua Harris To Close Within Days, Says Report

Derek Bodner of SB Nation Philly reports that the Comcast-Spectator's sale of the Philadelphia 76ers to investor Joshua Harris is expected to close early next week, with approval by the NBA board of governors in hand. Fagan reports that Harris is buying only the Sixers -- not the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers or the Wells Fargo Center, both also owned by Comcast -- for $280 million.

Harris has the odd circumstance of preparing to take over the Sixers in the middle of the NBA lockout. News of Harris' bid to buy the team broke last spring, and the deal was done in July, requiring official league review and approval by the other owners. The Atlanta Hawks' sale is next in line: a deal was announced last month, but there's been no indication NBA approval will come soon.

Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Comcast bought the team for $130 million in 1996. Adjusting for inflation, Comcast earned a 57 percent return on that initial investment. However, the team has reportedly been one of the franchises losing money in recent years.

For more on the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.

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