Spokesman says deal has taken too long

Updated: December 5, 2003, 11:27 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders owner Charles Wang withdrew his $265 million offer to buy the NBA's New Jersey Nets on Thursday.

Islanders spokesman Chris Botta said the proposal was taken off the table because a deal could not be reached in a timely manner. The sale process was held up by long negotiations on how to split up YankeeNets, the holding group that owns the team.

"Right now, the bid for the Nets was tabled," Paul Lancey, senior vice president of the Islanders, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News. "In order for us to present a first-class NBA property we had some deadlines in place. Right now it doesn't look like their house is in order as to what or when they want to sell."

Botta said that the breakdown in negotiations does not change Wang's desire to have a new arena built on Long Island to replace 31-year-old Nassau Coliseum, the home of the Islanders.

It is not out of the question that the deal could be revived.

"Never say never," Botta said.

According to Bloomberg, the remaining bidders for the Nets, who were valued at $218 million by Forbes magazine earlier this year, are real estate developer Bruce Ratner, who would move the team to Brooklyn, New York; developer Charles Kushner and U.S. Senator Jon Corzine of New Jersey, who would keep the club at its current home at the Meadowlands; and venture capitalist Stuart Feldman, who hasn't said what he would do with the team.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.