The one unknown in all of this talk about the sale of the Pistons is what the Ilitches' interest is in the franchise. There have been reports that Mike Ilitch isn't an NBA fan and wouldn't be all that interested in buying the team, but at the same time, other rumors have suggested that buying the Pistons is in the cards because it would give the Ilitches control of rival Palace Sports & Entertainment and allow for a new downtown Detroit arena to be built. So far nothing substantial has been reported either way, but this tidbit from a Crain's Detroit Business article is very interesting:
Sam Simon, president and chairman of Taylor-based fuel distributor Atlas Oil Co., is the latest name thought to be interested in the Detroit Pistons.
Sources familiar with the situation told Crain's that Simon would be part of an investment consortium led by Detroit's Mike and Marian Ilitch, the Little Caesars Enterprises Inc. pizza founders who also own the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings.
This is also very interesting:
In a legal squabble that erupted this month between Ilitch-owned Olympia Entertainment Inc. and Palace Sports over documents taken by former PS&E employees who left to work with Wilson, it was noted that Wilson had approached Davidson on behalf of the Ilitches about buying the Pistons and the entertainment company.
I've long thought that Tom Wilson's hire was more about getting a new arena for the Red Wings built, but perhaps it does have something to do with buying the Pistons as well. I didn't think the Ilitches were all that interested in them, but perhaps the fact that this is about more than just the Pistons (all of Palace Sports & Entertainment is for sale) is why they could end up owning three Detroit teams.
Some other names reported to possibly be interested in buying the Pistons include former Cavaliers minority owner David Katzman and Rochester businessman Andy Appleby.