By Tom Ignudo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin announced on Wednesday that he’s stepping away from Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. Rubin, a prominent owner with the Sixers, is selling his equity stake, which is 10%, according to ESPN.

Rubin is selling his stake due to conflicts in the expansion of Fanatics, a company worth more than $20 billion that sells licensed sportswear, sports equipment, and merchandise.

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Fanatics is moving to launch individual contracts with thousands of athletes and a sports betting operation. Both directly conflict with the ownership rules of sports leagues.

“Given these realities, I will sadly be selling my stake in the Sixers and shifting from part-owner back to life-long fan,” Rubin said in a statement.

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ESPN reports that Rubin’s departure could benefit the Sixers as they work to re-sign James Harden this offseason.

 “Rubin can now enter outside financial partnerships with players who were disallowed because Rubin was a part-owner of the teams, an avenue that could prove beneficial to the Sixers as they work to re-sign Harden,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote.

Rubin has owned his stake since 2011.

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“Given Michael’s tremendous success growing Fanatics into a global platform across every major sport, his decision doesn’t come as a surprise,” HBSE founder and managing general partner Josh Harris said in a statement. “I am so grateful for his years of partnership. His fierce passion, entrepreneurial mindset and steadfast commitment to doing the right thing have left an indelible mark on the Sixers organization.”