PHILADELPHIA -- The sale of the Philadelphia 76ers has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors, a source familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the sale has not yet closed. That is expected to happen early next week.

The sale was approved by the board this week, paving the way for New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris to take control of the franchise. It ends Comcast-Spectacor's 15-year run of ownership that included a trip to the NBA Finals.

Comcast-Spectacor, led by chairman Ed Snider, purchased the Sixers from Harold Katz on April 24, 1996. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers.

Harris buys the Sixers with the NBA in the midst of a lockout. The first two weeks of the regular season have already been canceled.


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