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For the sake of this argument, let's assume that Mr. Newman loses his battle to remain CEO of the ABA. A new CEO is named, and the league operates under rules largely inspired by the ownerships in Rochester and Maryland, two of the ABA's more successful teams. While Joe would no longer be the CEO, he would still, I'm assuming, maintain a good amount of stock in the company. If the new group turns the league around, probably no one would benefit more financially than Joe Newman, once he's able to sell his stock.
The man is 69 years old, and while it doesn't appear that he's willing to give up the fight to remain CEO, it also isn't in his best interest to cause too much bad news for the league and torpedo any chances to make a good haul at the end, even if he loses this battle. How tempting might that be? He doesn't have to do anything if he loses, not even try to sell teams. He doesn't have to put up with daily criticism, stat and website headaches, unfriendly email, the loss of successful teams, etc. He just has to sit back, hope the new powers that be do a good job and then cash out as soon as he can. Not a bad worst case scenario for him.
I think you're right. Obviously, though, there's an ego thing involved. The best move would be to transition quietly. He probably could have made this look like a mutual decision. The question is, will he let pride go and do what's best for the shareholders (which is himself to a large degree)? It's tough to say.
Newman has an ad agency background, and perhaps if he wanted to stay involved, remaining on the marketing side would make sense. But, I suspect that's not going to happen based on what we're seeing. He can either go quietly and probably enjoy a decent return later, or make a lot of noise, lose the league's top teams, and sacrifice the future of the league.
I'd let go at this point; especially given his financial stake. We'll see what he decides to do.
Let's say he does lose, which is likely I think. What happens to the league? Do we suddenly see half the teams suspended by the league? Does the league suddenly get better? Does anything change?
I would think that in the sake of credibility the league finishes out this season as is and then a major restructuring of the teams occur. I figure that all teams current and future will be subject to a financial check by the league, any who fail are kicked out of the league. Basically, I think you will find maybe half if not fewer teams return next season.
The one thing the new board should do is change the name of the league. I know its solely cosmetic to do so, but it helps to remove some of the stigma that Joe Newman has attached to the name. Even just attach North to the name and call it the North American Basketball Association. Then future expansion markets won't have fans who take a wait-and-see attitude toward the league as they may not realize the NABA is the old ABA.
Life is sometimes cruel and strange. Joe had no doubt been working for months, if not years to back the ABA into the stock market. It was to be his crowning achievement. But he didn't realise that this achievement would also be the start of his demise. In most other businesses, he would have been gently kicked upstairs and allowed to have some fun while he counted his money gained. But for Joe, I think the money was only the wonderful by-product of great prestige he earnes for as being a basketball legend. He just didn't/doesn't know how to go quietly and with honour and dignity. Running a public company is an immensely hard thing to do that most people need both years of education and experience to master. There is no shame in him not being the man to take it all forward, but there is shame in being the man who takes it all down with him. The Federal government does not like people acting recklessly with other people's money.
First, Joe got several million in cash at the act of going public.
Second, he would most definitely hurt the ABA and the shareholder value by ousting Rochester and Maryland regardless of whether it was bad for the stock prices. He has done this repeatedly, turning a personal vendetta into a 'mission of the ABA'....look at all the good teams that have left that ABA with bad blood from Joe!