Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"The Balkan" Is Some Guy

(updated below continuously)

Forget Lil Jon. John Kincade has finally revealed the identity of his shadowy "Balkan":

Yeah, we've never heard of him either. A quick Google search turns up a bearded, affable-looking "J.B. Smith" who teaches music at Arizona State University (presumably not the same guy) and a "J.B. Smith" who manufactures "oil country tubular fittings, swages, and bull plugs" (who the fuck knows?).

I don't want to be rash, but I'm going to assume the reason we're now hearing this is because he's given up.

Oh, wait, apparently this J.B. Smith runs an equity firm called Equity 11. The more you know! Actually, he's no longer involved with Equity 11. IN FACT, Equity 11 doesn't even exist anymore.

Apparently this same J.B. Smith tried to purchase invest in the Steelers a few years ago. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about it here.

INSTANT IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: Your TBC editor isn't sure that this is necessarily something to be ecstatic about. No one knows for certain what's going on behind the scenes, but it certainly seems that the Atlanta Spirit have gone from wanting to sell all three of their possessions to wanting to unload just the Thrashers. Apparently this Smith character wants all three, while True North are interested in only the Thrashers. You can see where this is leading.

UPDATE:...and then there's the question of just how much money Smith's group actually has. Craig Custance summarizes the situation here:

An NHL source told Sporting News that the belief is Smith doesn't have the necessary financial backing to make such a significant purchase, and questioned the validity of Smith's group. In 2009, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Smith announced that he would be a major investor in the NFL' Pittsburgh Steelers but sources later told the paper that there were never negotiations between Smith and the Rooney family.

SOOOO this guy might not have the financial backing to pull this off. And he never even negotiated with the Steelers-owning Rooney family? Strange.

UPDATE: AJC reporting that the Spirit are definitely trying to sell the Hawks and the Thrashers, but separately, so as to maximize profits. Apparently "the Spirit and outgoing San Diego Padres owner John Moores are in an exclusive negotiating period regarding the Hawks and the Philips Arena operating rights." Fancy!

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: In the most bizarre turn of events in this whole Balkan saga, that Jay Clemons guy is suddenly (?) working for Smith. To be precise: he's quit Sports Illustrated to handle all of Smith's dealings with the media. I'm sure everyone in the Thrashers Twitterverse will now take everything he says with a grain of salt, not allow themselves to be taken for a ride by a PR man, etc. Right?

ANOTHER: This Winnipeg Free Press report is probably worth considering. Apparently all of J.B. Smith's money is "in China."


Oh, and now True North is appealing to the Manitoba provincial government to assume some of the debt on their arena so they can free up more money to buy the Thrashers. In other words: If the team does move to Winnipeg, they'll probably end up just as comical a money-suck as the Thrashers. OR who knows, maybe they'll benefit from the relative strength of the Canadian economy, with its moose-shaped bathtubs full of loonies.


Razor Catch Prey said...

The Equity 11 site has a place holder for a subsidiary called Reign Sports that would presumably be the entity that would run the Atlanta teams.

GoPuckYourself said...

Saw some tweets about this guy keeping his money in China? WHO exactly is this J.B. Smith sort, and why even bother revealing yourself at all if you don't ACTUALLY HAVE THE RESOURCES TO BUY ALL 3 TEAMS?

I'm even more confused now that I know who this guy is, and NO, I don't think he buys the teams.

A2B said...

OK business trick here, he keeps his money in china which is untaxable to the US... we don't know exactly how much he has stored there and could have well more than what is needed to get all three entities in Atlanta. Another strong indicator he does is that a sub company he created just for this is going to buy the team. He burried money in assests offshore so it wouldn't get crushed in the recession is my guess. Once he sells his offshore assets I bet he has more than enough money its just a race to see if he can get the assets sold in time before TSNE buys the Thrashers.

Mortimer Peacock said...


I wouldn't get my hopes up. Every indication is that this guy is an unbalanced pretender. It's time to let go.

Anonymous said...

You don't want JB Smith involved with your team. Look at Federal court records in Florida regarding a J Brett Smith. Same guy.

Anonymous said...

JB smith is also being sued in Michigan for stealing money from investors. He is a fraud. He scams people out of money and gives them nothing for the investment. He has no money. He may know people with money but he is just trying to use this people to get there money.

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