Long-time Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen dies at 65

Longtime Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen died Monday from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 65.

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level,” Allen’s sister Jody Allen said via press release. “While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.

“Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver lauded Allen as “a valued voice” who helped the league expand and strengthen its footprint in foreign markets.

“Paul Allen was the ultimate trail blazer in business, philanthropy and in sports,” Silver said via release. “As one of the longest-tenured owners in the NBA, Paul brought a sense of discovery and vision to every league matter large and small. He was generous with his time on committee work, and his expertise helped lay the foundation for the league’s growth internationally and our embrace of new technologies. He was a valued voice who challenged assumptions and conventional wisdom and one we will deeply miss as we start a new season without him. Our condolences go to his family, friends and the entire Trail Blazers organization.”

Allen was successfully treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1982, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009. He announced on Oct. 1 that he had begun treatment for a recurrence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in the early 1970s, laying the foundation for a personal fortune that would eventually rank him among the world’s richest men at more than $20 billion.

An enthusiastic sports fan, Allen spent $70 million of that fortune to buy the Trail Blazers in 1988 from California real estate magnate Larry Weinberg. The Blazers held a 56.2 win percentage under Allen’s stewardship, reaching the playoffs 19 times and The Finals twice (1990, 1992).

Allen also owned the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, and a share of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC.