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Washington Wizards Owner Abe Pollin Dies At 85

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Wizards owner Abe Pollin was instrumental in the development of today's Washington Wizards team.
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Wizards owner Abe Pollin was instrumental in the development of today's Washington Wizards team.

By JOSEPH WHITE AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin has died. He was 85.

His death was announced by his company, Washington Sports + Entertainment. He died Tuesday but no details were disclosed.

Pollin, the NBA's longest-tenured owner, suffered from a rare brain disorder that impairs movement and balance. He had heart bypass surgery in 2005.

Pollin tried to run his pro sports teams like a family business. He bemoaned the runaway salaries of free agency and said it would have been difficult for him to keep the Wizards if it weren't for the NBA's salary cap.

His Washington-area sports empire began when he purchased the Baltimore Bullets in 1964. The Bullets, since renamed the Wizards, won the 1978 NBA title.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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