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Here’s a complete updated list of the NBA’s team owners in 2023.
Tony Ressler (Atlanta Hawks)
Tony Ressler is the Principal Owner and Chair of the Atlanta Hawks, which he and his group acquired in June of 2015. He is also the Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ares Management L.P., a publicly-traded global management company that owns several businesses in Atlanta, such as Floor & Décor Outlets of America, Inc. and Insight Global.
H. Irving Grousbeck (Boston Celtics)
H. Irving Grousbeck is both Managing Partner and Executive Committee Member of the Boston Celtics. Mr. Grousbeck is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School and Amherst College, which, in 2023, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. He served as co-head of Stanford University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies before becoming a Consulting Professor of Management at the same school.
Wycliffe Grousbeck (Boston Celtics)
Wycliffe Grousbeck has been the Bolton Celtics’ Governor, Managing Partner and CEO since conceiving acquiring the team, after which he formed the new ownership group, which he called “Banner 17 LLC”, towards the end of 2002. The name signified his main goal: clinch the Celtics’ 17th World Championship, which finally happened in 2008 when the team beat the Los Angeles Lakers and became champion again for the first time since 1986.
Steve Pagliuca (Boston Celtics)
As a Managing Partner and Chairman of the Boston Celtics’ Basketball Committee, Stephen Pagliuca aims to improve the Celtics’ basketball operations. He is also part of the NBA Board of Governors and the NBA Competition Committee. At the same time, he serves as one of Bain Capital’s managing directors, helping build the business into a top international private equity firm that is currently worth around $80 billion in capital.
Michael Jordan (Charlotte Hornets)
Aside from being a legendary retired basketball player, Michael Jordan has also been a major shareholder of the Charlotte Hornets since 2010 – twenty-two years after the franchise was initially established as an expansion team by George Shinn. Jordan purchased the Hornets, currently valued by Forbes at around $1.3 billion, for approximately $180 million and owns around 97 percent of the team equity.
Jerry Reinsdorf (Chicago Bulls)
Jerry Reinsdorf has been leading the Chicago Bulls and White Sox for the last thirty years and has since transformed the franchise into a profitable venture with 6 NBA Championships to its name. He is known for taking the Bulls from the Chicago Stadium to the United Center and for hiring Michael Jordan as a baseball player during a self-imposed break from basketball.
Dan Gilbert, Gary Gilbert, Gordon Gund and Usher (Cleveland Cavaliers)
American businessman and philanthropist Dan Gilbert is among the owners of the Cleveland Cavaliers, a sports franchise he heads among many others, including the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters and the NBA G League’s Canton Charge. His brother, Gary Gilbert, is a co-owner, along with former San Jose Sharks (National Hockey League) co-owner Gordon Gunda and pop icon Usher.
Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks)
Mark Cuban is an American entrepreneur who owns the Dallas Mavericks, co-owns 2029 Entertainment, and chairs AXS TV. He is more popularly known for his part on Shark Tank, ABC’s reality TV series where he is featured as one of the key “shark” investors. Cuban, now 60, purchased the Mavericks in 2000 for $280 million not for money but simply for his passion for basketball.
Stan Kroenke (Denver Nuggets)
American billionaire Enos Stanley is the owner of the Denver Nuggets and many other sports franchises, including the English Premier League football club Arsenal, the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL and Colorado Avalanche of the NHL. In 2018, Forbes estimated Kroenke’s worth to be around $8.5. On paper, however, the Nuggets are owned by Stanley’s wife, Ann, in keeping with NFL ownership rules that prohibit team owners from owning other teams in other markets.
Tom Gores (Detroit Pistons)
Tom Gores founded Platinum Equity, a California-based private equity firm before becoming the owner of the Detroit Pistons in 2011. By 2015, he had become the exclusive owner of the team. According to Forbes’ 2019 400 list, Gores’ current net worth is around $4.1 billion.
Joseph Steven Lacob, Howard Peter Guber (Golden State Warriors)
Joseph Steven Lacob, a partner at American venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins, is the majority owner of the Golden State Warriors. Lacob became controversial when he claimed his team was well ahead of the other 2015-2016 NBA teams by “light years.” The Warriors are co-owned by entrepreneur Howard Peter Guber, who is also the Chairman and CEO of chairman of Mandalay Entertainment.
Tilman Joseph Fertitta (Houston Rockets)
Tilman Joseph Fertitta purchased the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion in 2017 while being chairman of the University of Houston System’s board of regents of the University of Houston System. He is also the chairman, CEO and sole owner of one of the biggest restaurant corporations in America, Landry’s Inc. Forbes refers to him as the world’s wealthiest restaurateur, with a net worth estimated at $4.5 billion.
Herbert Simon (Indiana Pacers)
Herbert Simon is a real estate development magnate who purchased the Indiana Pacers from Sam Nassi and Frank Mariani in 1983. The team also used to be co-owned by his now-deceased brother, Mel. Aside from the Pacers, Simon is the big boss behind two other sports franchises: WNBA’s Indiana Fever and USL’s Reno 1868 FC. Also, he owns American book review magazine Kirkus Reviews and is the chairman emeritus of shopping mall developer Simon Property Group.
Steve Ballmer (Los Angeles Clippers)
The LA Clippers is chaired by USAFacts founder, Ballmer Group co-founder, and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. By his sixth year as major stockholder of the Clippers, Ballmer held a 250-160 (.610) record. He is known for his great passion for the sport and his team, determination to achieve on-court success, deep love for the fans, and of course, business acumen to run a successful franchise.
Jeanie Marie Buss (Los Angeles Lakers)
Jeanie Marie Buss is the president and controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. She is a daughter of real estate investor Jerry Buss who owned various sports businesses, including the LA’s NBA team. At 19, Jeanie Marie began working in the family business as general manager of the professional tennis team, Los Angeles Strings. She gained controlling ownership of the Lakers after her father died in 2013 and the franchise was passed on to her and her five siblings.
Robert J. Pera (Los Angeles Lakers)
Robert J. Pera, founder of global communications technology giant Ubiquiti Networks, Inc., is also the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, which he purchased in October of 2012. Today, at 36, he is on Forbes’ list of the world’s 10 youngest billionaires. Pera started building his wealth while working for Apple, which he left in 2005 to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams that included pioneering wi-fi technology.
Micky Arison (Miami Heat)
Micky Arison is the owner of the world’s biggest cruise company, Carnival Corporation, as well as of the Miami Heat sports franchise since 1995. Arison is best known for hiring Pat Riley, who turned drove the Heat’s to a total turnaround, from being an NBA joke to becoming a consistent playoff contender and winner in the 2006, 2012 and 2013 NBA Finals.
Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks)
Marc Lasry (September 30, 1959) is an American billionaire, hedge fund manager, and politician who co-owns the Milwaukee Bucks. Lasry is also the Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Avenue Capital Group, a global investment firm founded in 1995, with more than $13 billion worth of managed assets. Along with Lasry, the Bucks is owned by Wesley Robert Edens, an American businessman and private equity investor who purchased it from former Senator Herb Kohl for $550 million.
Glen Taylor (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Glen A. Taylor is the majority owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, which he purchased in 1994. In 2000, he secretly signed Joe Smith and was banned for almost 12 months for violating the NBA’s salary maximum. Five years later, people talked about him buying the Minnesota Vikings and getting outbid by Zygi Wild. Taylor purchased the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League, known later as NBA G League, before calling the team the Iowa Wolves.
Gayle Marie LaJaunie Bird Benson (New Orleans Pelicans)
Gayle Marie LaJaunie Bird Benson is the wife of former New Orleans Pelicans principal owner Tom Benson. After the death of her husband, she also became principal owner of the New Orleans Saints (NFL). Benson is the first woman to hold majority shares of the voting stock in an NBA or NFL franchise. In 2014, her late husband emailed his daughter and two grandchildren to say he didn’t want to hear from them ever again. Upon his death, Gayle Benson became his heir.
James Dolan (New York Knicks)
James Dolan is the executive chairman and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company and executive chairman of MSG Networks. He leads all operations of these companies and also owns and manages the day-to-day grind of the New York Knicks. Dolan was CEO of Cablevision before it was sold in June 2016.
Clay Bennett (Oklahoma City Thunder)
The Oklahoma City Thunder NBI franchise, previously called Seattle SuperSonics, is chaired by American businessman Clayton Bennett. He also serves as chairman of Oklahoma City’s Dorchester Capital Corporation and the University of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents, as well as chairman emeritus of the Oklahoma Heritage Association’s board of directors.
Richard DeVos Sr. (Orlando Magic)
Orlando Magic, formerly owned by direct-selling giant Amway’s co-founder, Richard Devos Sr., is now owned by the heirs of the deceased patriarch. Devos Sr. was named by Forbes as the 60th richest man in the United States and the 205th all over the globe in 2012, with a $5.1 billion estimated net worth. He was also a minority owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team while being a majority stakeholder of the Magic.
Harris Blitzer (Philadelphia 76ers)
Philadelphia 76ers is owned by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the American New Jersey-based sports and entertainment company that is also behind the New Jersey Devils (NHL) and several other sports and entertainment properties. In 2016, the 76ers merged Team Dignitas and Apex Gaming under the Dignitas umbrella and started an eSports team, the first-ever owned by a North American professional sports team.
Robert Sarver (Phoenix Suns)
A lifelong sports aficionado, Robert Sarver of real estate giant Southwest Value Partners owns the Phoenix Suns franchise, a venture that started after a conversation with University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson. The former college coach then set Sarver a meeting with former Arizona player and 15-year NBA veteran Steve Kerr, and the real property investor ended up buying the Suns for $401 million in 2004, a record price back then.
Paul Allen (Portland Trail Blazers)
The Portland Trail Blazers have had one owner in the last three decades: entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul Allen. During Allen’s tenure, the Trail Blazers have soared heights not seen by many NBA teams. After just one season since his acquisition of the franchise from Larry Weinberg, the Trail Blazers reached the NBA Finals and bounced back to the championship round in just two years. Aside from the Trail Blazers, Allen also owns the Seattle Seahawks (NFL) and is a minority owner of the Seattle Sounders FC (MLS).
Vivek Ranadivé (Sacramento Kings)
Vivek Yeshwant Ranadivé is an Indian-American who co-owns and chairs the Sacramento Kings. He is the founder and a former CEO of real-time computing firm, TIBCO, and of Teknekron Software Systems. Before Ranadivé could purchase the team in 2013, he had to give up his share of the Golden State Warriors. In the same year, he and his group agreed with the Maloofs to buy 65% of the Kings for about $348 million. He is best known for a proposed style of play where he wanted to keep one player in his team on offense all the time with a 4-on-5 defense on the opposite end.
Peter Holt (San Antonio Spurs)
Peter Holt, former CEO of America’s biggest Caterpillar dealership, is the main man behind the San Antonio Spurs. Holt owns Spurs Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NBA franchise, along with other sports franchises like the San Antonio FC (USL) and the San Antonio Rampage (AHL). Holt invested in the Spurs in 1993 to help keep the team in San Antonio. Holt retired in 2016, succeeded by his Julianna.
Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Raptors)
Larry Tanenbaum is famous for being chair of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns several major league sports teams, including the Toronto Raptors. He is also involved in the finance and construction industries, as well as in philanthropy. He is currently chairman and CEO of private investment holding company Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Limited, which he successfully steered into a versatile civil engineering construction company. He is also a board member of the Mt. Sinai Hospital and international child empowerment non-profit Right to Play.
Gail Miller (Utah Jazz)
Gail Miller is currently Utah’s richest resident and the widow of Larry H. Miller, a former part-owner of the Utah Jazz who eventually bought total control of the franchise in 1986. Gail Miller assumed ownership when her husband passed away in 2009, and in 2017 announced that she had placed ownership of the Utah Jazz and Vivint Smart Home Arena in a Legacy Trust to maintain the franchise in Utah.
Ted Leonsis (Washington Wizards)
American businessman, author, philanthropist, filmmaker and ex-politician Ted Leonsis took charge of the Washington Wizards as majority owner in June 2010, as founding chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. The former senior executive of America Online owned the Wizards for 46 years, the longest tenure in the league’s history.
Joseph Tsai (Brooklyn Nets)
Joseph Tsai is the co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, the world’s largest e-commerce platform. Prior to Alibaba, he was a managing director at Goldman Sachs and an investment banker at Lehman Brothers.
As Brooklyn Nets owner, Tsai is looking to build on the team’s storied history, as the franchise enters its third season in the NBA. The Nets reached the playoffs in each of their first two seasons but were eliminated in the first round by the New York Knicks.
Joe Lacob (Golden State Warriors)
Joe Lacob is the founder and CEO of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He is also a former owner of the Golden State Warriors, which he purchased in 1999. The Warriors won the NBA championship in 2015, the first year they played like an expansion team.
Robert Pera (Memphis Grizzlies)
Robert J. Pera is the founder and CEO of Ubiquiti Networks, a manufacturer of wireless communications equipment. He also co-founded Ubiquiti’s subsidiary, Ubiquiti Labs, which focuses on research and development.
Pera purchased the Memphis Grizzlies in 2013 and is looking to build on the team’s history as one of the NBA’s elite franchises.
Tilman Fertitta (Houston Rockets)
Tilman Fertitta is the chairman and CEO of Landry’s, a hospitality company with more than 1,300 restaurants and bars across the United States. He is also the founder of the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Fertitta bought the Houston Rockets in 2013 and has since turned around the franchise’s fortunes. The Rockets reached the playoffs for the first time in four years last season and have a young core that includes James Harden, Chris Paul, and Clint Capela.
Why and How They Become NBA Team Owners?
Every team owner is unique, with different backgrounds and aspirations. However, there are some common factors that make most successful owners. For example, they usually come from the sports industry or business sector.
Many owners also start as sports fans and follow their teams through all the ups and downs of the season. They then become more involved in the team’s operations after they start to understand the game better.
As a result, they are often involved in front office activities such as coaching, scouting head coaches, and contributing in player personnel decisions. Other owners may want to enter the NBA ownership market because they have an entrepreneurial spirit or they want to pursue a specific goal related to sports. They may also want to join a winning team and be part of one of the world’s most popular professional leagues.
How To Become An NBA Team Owner?
Becoming an NBA team owner is not easy. First, you need to find a willing team to buy. Second, you will need to have the necessary capital to fund the purchase. Third, you will need a solid plan for how you will run the team and improve its performance. Finally, you will need to work with the league’s owners on their plans for the expansion and relocation of teams in order to find a suitable buyer for your franchise.
How Much Does It Cost To Become An NBA Team Owner?
Ownership fees for NBA teams range from $500 million to $8 million for new franchises and between $5,000 million and $1 billion for relocating franchises from other leagues. Some franchises might cost more than $3 billion. A franchise fee can also be paid in cash or by sharing an ownership stake with another investor group. This is sometimes referred to as a partnership agreement or minority interest purchase agreement (MIPA).
Owners of NBA teams also have to pay a one-time franchise fee of $30 million. The annual franchise fee is then calculated based on the team’s value and its revenue, with a minimum fee of $1 million. In addition, there are some taxes that owners must pay. These include a federal tax on investment income, an additional tax on income from team operations, and an estimated local tax for team facilities in the owner’s home state.
What Are The Benefits Of Becoming An NBA Team Owner?
As owners of an NBA team, you will be able to reap some significant benefits. For example, as you will be considered part of the league’s ownership group, you will have access to many perks such as luxury boxes at games and in-game VIP experiences for season ticket holders.
You will also be entitled to attend league meetings such as board meetings and get invitations to social events that involve all NBA owners or certain groups within the league.
As part of your duties as an owner, you may also want to hold office hours with players and coaches to provide feedback on their performance.