Two West Coast sports executives are suing Comcast-Spectacor L.P. to collect a $2 million finder's fee that they contend is owed them for helping with the sale of the win-challenged and financially ailing 76ers.
Robert Whitsitt, the former president of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Thomas Shine filed the federal breach-of-contract lawsuit in Philadelphia on Tuesday claiming they introduced Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider and general counsel Philip Weinberg to sports agent Jason Levien, who became part of the group that eventually purchased the Sixers.
The investor group, led by New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris, completed the deal in October for a reported $280 million.
In their suit, Whitsitt and Shine say that Comcast-Spectacor denied their claim to a finder's fee because Levien was not the controlling partner and the fee was paid to someone else.
Comcast-Spectacor spokesman Ike Richman said today in a statement: "We have received notice of his claims, which we firmly believe are without merit, and we will vigorously defend ourselves in court."
Whitsitt is a former financial adviser to Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and the former president of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers.
Shine is a senior vice president with Reebok International Ltd. and investor in the sports industry.