Report: Nets minority owner closing in on Liberty purchase

Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence/New York Sportsday Wire

There is little question as to what will be the hottest of topics at WNBA watercoolers over the next several days.

It looked as if it would just be another sleepy day of women’s basketball news mostly fixated on the Maori Davenport saga in Alabama before the Associated Press’ Doug Feinberg dropped a teaser on Twitter.

Maybe it was related either to the Davenport situation or perhaps a new WNBA president. Then, he dropped a story rightfully characterized as a #DougBomb when he reported that Joseph Tsai, the Brooklyn Nets minority owner, appears to be within a week of closing in on a deal that would see him purchase the New York Liberty from James Dolan and MSG.

Feinberg’s source spoke to him on the condition of anonymity.

While this news had WNBA Twitter in a tizzy – and rightfully so – it must be noted that MSG and Dolan was close to other deals to sell the team, according to Feinberg, but all of them fell through for one reason or another.

The news of Tsai being a suitor for the team is one of only two names either revealed or rumored throughout the entire process since the Liberty were put on the market in late 2017. Bradley Steiner was once another rumored name after he attended a Liberty game in the early portions of the 2018 season at the Westchester County Center.

If it is true that MSG’s days of owning the Liberty are numbered, the ensuing chatter has centered around where the team will play and if they will even maintain its incumbent black and green colors.

The likeliest destinations are Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum where the G-League’s Long Island Nets play. But ask most Lib Loyals and they will tell you that either Barclays or the Coliseum are much better options than the County Center.

Assuming the deal to Tsai clears smoothly, another thing to work out will be game broadcasts. What made MSG so lucrative to the Liberty was it had the network almost to itself during the summer months. Both the Nets and the G-League’s Nets are carried via YES Network, but that’s an all-Yankees, all the time channel during the spring and summer.

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