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Joseph Tsai set to buy rest of Nets franchise for $2.35 billion

Nets-Joseph-Tsai

According to a report in the New York Post, the Brooklyn Nets will soon have a single owner. The new owner of the team –or governor, if Adam Silver gets his wish – has long been a minority owner of the team: Joseph Tsai, the Taiwanese billionaire co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba will soon buy out Mikhail Prokhorov for the final 51 percent of the team that he does not own.

Tsai’s purchase of the Nets will come at a steep price: $2.35 billion, which will stand as the highest price any owner has paid for any American sports team ever – topping the price paid for the Houston Rockets and Carolina Panthers in recent years.

According to the New York Post report by Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis, Tsai’s purchase of the Nets might come at a fortuitous time for the NBA as the try to increase their profile in China:

“Forbes estimates Tsai — the vice chair of Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon — is worth $9.9 billion. The Taiwan native is known to speak positively of the Chinese government, sources said. But that is actually a plus for the NBA, which is seeking to grow its presence in China, sources have told The Post. Tsai is a member of NBA China, which conducts league business in that country, even though he doesn’t yet control a team. Tsai also has been raising his US profile in recent months…”

Certainly, now is a great time to make this move, as the Nets will soon be a favorite in the Eastern Conference when Kevin Durant returns from his Achilles’ tear.