CHICAGO - Former Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo would be interested buying the Chicago Cubs if Tribune Co. puts his hometown franchise up for sale.
Colangelo, chairman of the NBA's Phoenix Suns and former controlling owner of both the Suns and Diamondbacks, said Wednesday he has held "preliminary discussion" with unspecified other people who share his interest in buying the Cubs.
He declined to say whether he had spoken to Tribune Co. or the Cubs about his interest, but said: "You can speculate that."
"If in fact the Cubs become available, and that's a big if, I've stated that I would have great interest," he told The Associated Press. "I'm just trying to keep my options open at this point, that's all."
Colangelo said he had spoken with two different groups of prospective bidders. However, he added, "I have my own interest, not necessarily tied to any particular group."
The 67-year-old Colangelo grew up a Cubs fan in suburban Chicago Heights. A four-time NBA executive of the year and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he brought major league baseball to Arizona in 1998 as managing general partner of the Diamondbacks, who won the World Series in 2001.
He told WSCR-AM on Tuesday that owning his hometown team would be "quite an exciting possibility" and would represent "coming full circle."
Tribune, under pressure from large shareholders disappointed with its sagging stock price, has said it hopes to decide by year's end on a strategic overhaul that could include selling the entire company or certain assets. Those assets also include 11 newspapers, led by the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, and 25 television stations.