Billy Joe Red McCombs, a former owner of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets as well as the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, passed away at the age of 95. His family announced the unfortunate news via a statement on social media, to which some teams also reacted by offering their condolences.
Red McCombs death statement
“The entire McCombs family is devastated to say that our father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Red McCombs, died on Sunday, February 19, 2023. He breathed gently at home for the last time, surrounded by a family who loved and adored him. “Red was a brilliant entrepreneur who touched many lives and had an incalculable impact on our community,” the statement said. “Yet he was always, first and foremost, ‘Dad’ or ‘Poppop’ to us. We grieve the passing of a Texas legend.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement in response to McCombs’ death:
“Red McCombs was a driving role in the creation of the current NBA, bringing the Spurs to San Antonio. He was a visionary and astute businessman who never shied away from taking chances. We grieve Red’s passing and extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and the Spurs organisation.” Also Read: NBA Rumours: After Jazz’s buyout, the Clippers to sign Russell Westbrook
Red McCombs was the ex owner of Spurs, Nuggets and NFL Vikings
For the 1973-74 season, he purchased the ABA’s Dallas Chaparrals and transferred the franchise, now known as the Spurs, to San Antonio.
McCombs had a key role in bringing the Spurs into the NBA as part of the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. Following the team’s rise to popularity with superstar George “The Iceman” Gervin, McCombs sold his Spurs stake in 1982 to acquire the Nuggets, whom he subsequently sold in 1985 to repurchase his Spurs stake in 1986. In 1988, he purchased the team outright from its other investors.
Red McCombs purchased the Vikings for $246 million in 1998, adding to his track record of buying sports clubs and retaining them for a short length of time. He controlled the NFL franchise until 2005, when he sold it to the Wilf family for $600 million after being disappointed by efforts to acquire a new stadium. During his tenure, the Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship Game twice. Also Read: NBA All-Star Game: Jaylen Brown of the Celtics debuts a new mask for the Game
According to the McCombs Enterprises website and the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, McCombs owned more than 400 firms during his lifetime. In addition, Red’s wife, Charline McCombs, died in December 2019. His daughters Lynda McCombs, Marsha Shields, and Connie McNab survive him, as do eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
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