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Steve Ballmer, Mark Cuban, Joseph Tsai, Tillman Fertitta, Philip Anschutz, Lakers, LeBron James, NBA, Stanley Kroenke, Robert Pera, Tom Gores, Dan Gilbert, Micky Arison

The 10 richest team owners in the NBA

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. Maybe soon, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James will join the club, as he’s rumored to be shopping for an NBA franchise.

In the meantime, here the richest of them all, according to the latest numbers from Forbes.

Richest NBA owners

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 $4.3 billion fortune by founding video portal Broadcast.com, a company he sold to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999. He has maintained his wealth by investing in multiple business ventures and start-ups.

9. Tilman Fertitta – Houston Rockets 

Fertitta made his $4.4 billion in the restaurant, hotel, and casino businesses. The 62-year-old owns the restaurant company Landry’s which owns spots such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and the Rainforest Cafe.

Fertitta purchased the Rockets for $2.2 billion in September 2017.

8. 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 $5.3 billion.

The Israeli-American businessman has owned the Heat since 1995.

7. Tom Gores – Detroit Pistons

Despite working as a janitor in college in order to pay tuition, Gores has amassed a net worth of  $5.7 billion. That wealth is due to Gores founding the private equity firm Platinum Equity in 1995.

Gores has been the Pistons owner since June 2011.

6. Dan Gilbert – Cleveland Cavaliers

Gilbert is the co-founder of mortgage-lending company Quicken Loans which explains the Cavaliers’ home arena being the Quicken Loans Arena. He became the owner of the NBA franchise in 2005.

Gilbert’s $6.2 billion fortune also comes from his ownership of multiple hotels and casinos in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Maryland.

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.

Also one of the youngest billionaires in the world, Pera, who has an estimated $7.1 billion net worth, purchased the Grizzlies in October 2012.

4. Joseph Tsai – Brooklyn Nets

Tsai earned his nearly $9.9 billion net worth after forming the multinational holding company and e-commerce giant  Alibaba Group in 1999.

The Taiwanese-Canadian businessman purchased a 51 percent ownership in the Nets in August 2019 for $2.35 billion—the most expensive purchase of a sports franchise in history.

3. Stanley Kroenke – Denver Nuggets

Married to Walmart heiress Ann Walter Kroenke, they not only co-own the Nuggets, but they also co-own the Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Avalanche, Arsenal FC, Colorado Rapids, and other sports clubs.

A real estate mogul who has built shopping centers and apartment buildings, Kroenke has a net worth of $10 billion.

2. Philip Anschutz – Los Angeles Lakers

While Jeannie Buss and her family are widely recognized as the owners of the Lakers, Anschutz, a minority owner, has truly made his presence felt in recent years.

Anschutz, who also has business ventures in energy, railroads, real estate, newspapers, movies, and music, will only see his net worth of $11.2 billion skyrocket after selling the naming rights of the Staples Center for $700 million to a cryptocurrency company.

1. Steve Ballmer – Los Angeles Clippers

With a mind-numbing estimated net worth of $51.4 billion, Ballmer is not only the richest owner in the NBA but is also the 16th richest person in the world.

He served as CEO of Microsoft from 1998 until his resignation in 2014. A few months later, Ballmer purchased the Clippers for $2 billion and since then, he has been one of the most enthusiastic owners in the NBA.