You need to be pretty rich to own an NBA team. That’s pretty obvious. But, even in the fabulously wealthy world of NBA owners, a few stand out above the rest.
Technology pioneers, media moguls, heirs to large fortunes, these billionaire sports fans have the opportunity to what most all of us have dreams of doing, own a sports team.
Here the richest of them all (according to Forbes).
1. Steve Ballmer – Los Angeles Clippers
With an estimated net worth of $51.4 billion, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is not only the richest owner in the NBA but is also the 16th richest person in the world.
Ballmer served as CEO of Microsoft from 1998 until his resignation in 2014. In May of 2014, Ballmer purchased the Clippers for $2 billion and since then, has been one of the most enthusiastic owners in the NBA.
2. Joseph Tsai – Brooklyn Nets
The Taiwanese-Canadian businessman earned his nearly $10 billion net worth ($9.7 billion)after forming multinational holding company and e-commerce giant Alibaba Groupin 1999. Tsai purchased a 51 percent ownership in the Nets in August of 2019 for a $2.35 billion — the most expensive purchase of a sports franchise in history.
T-3. Micky Arison – Miami Heat
Arison is the son of Ted Arison, founder of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise operator. The former college dropout served as the company’s CEO from 1979 until 2013 and is now worth an estimated $7.8 billion.
The Israeli-American businessman has owned the Miami Heat since 1995.
T-3. Ann Walton Kroenke – Denver Nuggets
The first woman on this list, Kroenke is tied with Arison in terms of estimated net worth ($7.8 billion). As the heir to the Walmart fortune, Kroenke became a billionaire in 1995 after her father and Walmart founder, Bud Walton died.
The Nuggets owner is also the wife of billionaire realtor Stan Kroenke. Together, they co-own the Los Angeles Rams, Arsenal FC and the Colorado Rapids.
5. Robert Pera – Memphis Grizzlies
At only 41 years old, Pera is the NBA’s youngest owner. The former Apple employee left the company in 2005 and founded wi-fi company Ubiquiti Networks.
One of the youngest billionaires in the world, Pera, who has an estimated $7.1 billion net worth purchased the Grizzlies in October of 2012.
6. Dan Gilbert – Cleveland Cavaliers
Gilbert is the co-founder of mortgage-lending company Quicken Loanswhich explains the Cavs home arena being the “Quicken Loans Arena.”
Gilbert’s $6.5 billionfortune also comes from his ownership of multiple hotels and casinos in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Maryland.
Gilbert became the owner of the Cleveland NBA franchise in 2005.
7. Tom Gores – Detroit Pistons
Despite working as a janitor in college in order to pay tuition, Gores has amassed a net worth of $5.6 billion. That wealth is due to Gores founding private equity firm Platinum Equityin 1995.
Gores has been the Pistons owner since June of 2011.
8. Tilman Fertitta – Houston Rockets
Fertitta made his $4.8 billion in the restaurant, hotel and casino businesses. The 62-year-old owns restaurant company Landry’s which owns restaurants such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and the Rainforest Cafe.
Fertitta purchased the Rockets for $2.2 billion in September of 2017.
9. Joshua Harris – Philadelphia 76ers
Co-founder of private equity firm Apollo, Harris is worth $4.3 billion. Other than the 76ers, Harris also owns shares in the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the EPL’s Crystal Palace FC.
Harris has been the owner of the 76ers since 2011.
10. Mark Cuban – Dallas Mavericks
One of the most recognizable and outspoken owners in the NBA due to his role in the TV show Shark Tank, Cuban has been the owner of the Mavericks for nearly two decades.
Cuban made his $4.1 billion fortune by founding video portal Broadcast.com — a company he sold to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999.
Cuban has maintained his wealth by investing in multiple business ventures and startups.