It's been a turbulent two years since former Detroit Pistons owner William Davidson passed away in 2009. The team went into limbo, and that limbo finally ended on Friday when businessman and Flint native Tom Gores agreed to purchase the team from Davidson's widow, Karen. There's been a lot of twists and turns along the way, here's just a few of the highlights:
March 13, 2009
Pistons owner William Davidson passes away after years of failing health at age 86. Davidson bought the team in 1974 from Fred Zollner for $6 million. His widow Karen Davidson assumes control of the franchise.
January 10, 2010
Karen Davidson announces that the Pistons are officially up for sale.
June 3, 2010
The Pistons hire Citi Private Bank Sports Advisory to assist with the sale.
August 9, 2010
Red Wings and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch makes a formal statement expressing his interest in the team. Ilitch said he feared the team would move out of the state if an outside bidder purchased the rights to the club. It's also thought Ilitch wanted the team to leverage a new joint arena for the Pistons and Red Wings in downtown Detroit.
August 13, 2010
Former Michigan State and Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson expresses interest in being part of a group to buy the Pistons. Johnson would have had to sell his share in the Lakers to do so, which he did on Oct. 19.
August 19, 2010
The sale starts to heat up as four potential buyers are announced. Beside Ilitch they included Gores, former NBA executive George Postolos and a foreign group from Dubai. Interestingly, only the two local buyers were given exclusive bidding windows.
October 5, 2010
Ilitch is announced as the preferred bidder to buy the team from Davidson. At the time, it was expected that a deal would be done by Oct. 27. Yeah....good luck with that.
October 21, 2010
NBA commissioner David Stern comments on the deal and expects an agreement to be in place by November. Again, good luck.
November 8, 2010
Ilitch announces that a deal is 'close' during Jim Devellano's introduction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
November 13, 2010
Just five days after Ilitch's announcement, Davidson reopens the bidding for the Pistons. Later it would be learned that Ilitch caught the Pistons inflating numbers and substantially lowered his bid.
January 7, 2011
Gores is announced as the preferred bidder in the Pistons sale and is granted an exclusive 30-day window.
January 26, 2011
The Pistons' value is estimated to be $360 million by Forbes, falling from $479 million the previous season.
February 10, 2011
The Detroit Free Press reports that Gores has reached a tentative agreement to buy the team, valued at $420 million. However, the Detroit News later conflicted that report saying no deal was in place, which turned out to be the case.
February 26, 2011
A 14-day extension of Gores' exclusive bidding window ends and no deal is in place yet. The Detroit News reports that the price of the team is again the central issue bogging down the negotiations.
March 8, 2011
Forbes reports that Ilitch is back in the mix to buy the team.
March 30, 2011
The negotiations between Gores and Davidson are far enough along that the NBA Board of Governors is expected to vote on the deal by mid-April.
April 8, 2011
The Pistons formally announce the sale of the team to Gores, ending nearly two years of turmoil. Exact terms of the agreement were not disclosed but it's believed to significantly less than the $420 million the NBA was hoping for. It will be the most expensive purchase in the Detroit sports scene since Ilitch bought the Tigers in 1992 for $82 million.
For much, much more detail on how this all unfolded throughout the past couple of years, check out the rest of the SB Nation Detroit StoryStream on the sale.