Will Smith Involved In Potential Philadelphia 76ers Purchase

Actor/rapper Will Smith could be the latest entertainer to hold a stake in a professional basketball team.

The Philadelphian is among a set of investors interested in purchasing the Philadelphia 76ers from Comcast-Spectacor, according to The Philadelphia Daily News.

The group, which was assembled by basketball legend Julius "Dr. J" Erving, would like to have a meeting with officials from Comcast in the near future, a source told the newspaper.

Erving played 11 of his 15 professional seasons with the 76ers before being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

The collective faces competition from another group that met with Comcast last month and has since held informal discussions.

In addition to signing nondisclosure agreements, those looking to buy the team are advised to contact Galatioto Sports Partners, a New York-based sports investment firm hired by Comcast.

Recent speculation suggests that owners could ask for as much as $450 million for the Sixers, the Daily News reports, adding that the amount would represent the largest price in league history.

Despite the interest, current owners emphasize that "no decision has been made to sell the 76ers."

"We have been approached by multiple parties interested in purchasing the Philadelphia 76ers, particularly in the wake of recent speculation," said chairman Ed Snider in a statement released in August. "While this is not the first time we have received some inquiries, we have decided to engage the services of Galatioto Sports Partners, an industry-leading sports-investment firm, to help us evaluate our strategic alternatives,

including a sale or a new partnership."

If a deal is struck, Smith will join fellow rappers Jay-Z and Nelly and R&B singer Usher as co-owners of an NBA franchise.