The Richest NBA Team Owners

If you own an NBA team, you’re rich enough to make other rich people envious. How envious? Most people on this list are worth billions. You’ll notice only 27 of the NBA’s 30 teams are profiled. That’s because the Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks are owned […]

If you own an NBA team, you’re rich enough to make other rich people envious. How envious? Most people on this list are worth billions.

You’ll notice only 27 of the NBA’s 30 teams are profiled. That’s because the Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks are owned either by corporations or people or families whose net worth is unknown. Here’s a look at the richest among the rich.

Last updated: April 13, 2020

Robert Sarver, Phoenix Suns: $400 Million

  • Owner since: 2004
  • How much they purchased the team for: $404 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.625 billion

Robert Sarver owns not just the Suns, but also a Spanish football team. He has made money, however, in real estate as the executive director of Southwest Value Partners. He also co-founded the National Bank of Arizona. In 2019, he broke a state record for residential property sales when he sold his own Arizona home for $19.25 million. He’s worth $400 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Vivek Ranadive, Sacramento Kings: $700 Million

  • Owner since: 2013
  • How much they purchased the team for: $534 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.775 billion

Boasting master’s degrees from both MIT and Harvard, Vivek Ranadive is a businessman and engineer who founded TIBCO Software. Before he bought the Kings, he was the co-owner and vice-chairman of the Golden State Warriors. He’s worth $700 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Robert Epstein, Irving Grousbeck, Wycliffe Grousbeck and Stephen Pagliuca — Boston Celtics: $850 Million

  • Owner since: 2002
  • How much they purchased the team for: $360 million
  • How much the team is worth: $3.1 billion

No reliable net worth information is available for Irving Grousbeck or Robert Epstein, but Stephen Pagliuca is worth $450 million and Wycliffe Grousbeck is worth $400 million for a combined net worth of $850 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Grousbeck made his money as a venture capitalist. Pagliuca made his as a private equity investor.

Clayton Bennett and the Aubrey McClendon Estate, Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.2 Billion

  • Owner since: 2006
  • How much they purchased the team for: $325 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.575 billion

No reliable net worth information exists for Clayton Bennett, but Aubrey McClendon was worth $1.2 billion the last time Forbes inventoried his fortune. The embattled energy tycoon died in a single-vehicle crash in 2016 just one day after he was indicted on federal bid-rigging charges through his Chesapeake Energy company. His family estate now owns his part of the Thunder.

Ted Leonsis, Washington Wizards: $1.4 Billion

  • Owner since: 2010
  • How much they purchased the team for: $551 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.75 billion

Theodore “Ted” Leonsis made his first fortune at the senior executive level of AOL. His net worth is estimated at $1.4 billion. He later formed a venture capital firm and Monumental Sports, which owns not just the Wizards, but the NHL’s Washington Capitals, two arena football teams, a WNBA team and Capital One Arena.

Jerry Reinsdorf, Chicago Bulls: $1.5 Billion

  • Owner since: 1985
  • How much they purchased the team for: $16.2 million
  • How much the team is worth: $3.2 billion

Jerry Reinsdorf first began amassing his $1.5 billion fortune in the 1970s when he co-founded a real estate company that would later be bought by American Express. He then embarked on a remarkable run of buying into Chicago sports teams just as they were taking off, including not just the Bulls in 1985 but also the White Sox in ’81.

Miller Family Trust, Utah Jazz: $1.7 Billion

  • Owner since: 1986
  • How much they purchased the team for: $24 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.55 billion

Along with her late husband, Gail Miller built a $5.3 billion, 64-dealership automotive sales empire from a single Toyota dealership. Miller, who has an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion, transferred ownership of the Utah Jazz to a family trust so her heirs couldn’t move or sell the team.

See: The 20 Richest MLB Team Owners

Michael Jordan, Charlotte Hornets: $2.1 Billion

  • Owner since: 2010
  • How much they purchased the team for: $175 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.5 billion

The next-richest NBA team owner knows a thing or two about basketball — none other than Michael Jordan, who earned just $90 million of his $2.1 billion fortune on the court. Much of the rest came from his legendary sponsorship deals with Nike, Gatorade, Hanes and many other corporate giants.

Herb Simon and Stephen Simon, Indiana Pacers: $2.6 Billion

  • Owner since: 1983
  • How much they purchased the team for: $10.5 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.525 billion

Although Stephen Simon’s net worth is unknown, Herb Simon’s fortune is estimated at $2.6 billion. Herb and another brother, Melvin Simon, formed what would become the Simon Property Group. It’s now one of the biggest real estate investment trusts in the world. Its 206 properties include 107 malls.

Tony Ressler, Atlanta Hawks: $2.9 Billion

  • Owner since: 2015
  • How much they purchased the team for: $730 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.52 billion

Antony “Tony” Ressler has an estimated net worth of $2.9 billion. Along with his brother-in-law Leon Black — also a billionaire — he founded Apollo Management in 1990. Both men had Wall Street backgrounds and the company is now a giant among private equity firms.

Glen Taylor, Minnesota Timberwolves: $2.9 Billion

  • Owner since: 1995
  • How much they purchased the team for: $88.5 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.375 billion

Glen Taylor, who has a net worth of $2.9 billion, worked in the wedding business in college, went on to buy a wedding services company for $2 million in 1975 and grew it into Taylor Corp., a firm that’s done over $2 billion in sales. He owns several sports franchises, as well as vast stretches of farmland and the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.

Gayle Benson, New Orleans Pelicans: $3.2 Billion

  • Owner since: 2012
  • How much they purchased the team for: $338 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.35 billion

In the 1970s, Gayle Benson worked in interior design. In 2004, she married business magnate Tom Benson, who owned the Pelicans as well as the NFL’s Saints. After her husband died, she was embroiled in a protracted lawsuit with his heirs over the family’s assets. She is worth an estimated $3.2 billion.

Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, Golden State Warriors: $3.8 Billion

  • Owner since: 2010
  • How much they purchased the team for: $450 million
  • How much the team is worth: $4.3 billion

Peter Guber is worth $800 million and Joe Lacob is worth $3 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth, for a combined net worth of $3.8 billion. Guber, who also is a minority owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is the chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment. Lacob made his early money in venture capital.

Jamie Dinan, Wes Edens and Marc Lasry — Milwaukee Bucks: $4 Billion

  • Owner since: 2014
  • How much they purchased the team for: $550 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.58 billion

No reliable net worth information exists for Wes Edens, but James Dinan is worth $2.2 billion and Marc Lasry is worth $1.8 billion for a combined net worth of $4 billion. Dinan founded York Capital Management in 1991. Lasry founded Avenue Capital Management in 1995.

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David Blitzer and Joshua Harris, Philadelphia 76ers: $4.2 Billion

  • Owner since: 2011
  • How much they purchased the team for: $287 million
  • How much the team is worth: $2 billion

No reliable net worth information is available for David Blitzer, but Joshua Harris is worth $4.2 billion. Harris was a co-founder of private equity giant Apollo Global Management and continues to serve as senior managing director today. The company now oversees more than $300 billion in assets. 

Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks: $4.3 Billion

  • Owner since: 2000
  • How much they purchased the team for: $280 million
  • How much the team is worth: $2.4 billion

With an estimated net worth of $4.3 billion, Mark Cuban is not the richest NBA owner, but he is one of the most famous and outspoken. In 1995, he co-founded Broadcast.com, an early video portal. Just four years later in 1999, Cuban sold the company to Yahoo for $5.7 billion.

Tilman Fertitta, Houston Rockets: $4.7 Billion

  • Owner since: 2017
  • How much they purchased the team for: $2.2 billion
  • How much the team is worth: $2.475 billion

Tilman Fertitta, who has an estimated net worth of $4.7 billion, owns Golden Nugget Casinos as well as Landry’s, which Fertitta took private in a $1.4 billion deal in 2010. Landry’s owns brands like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Landry’s Seafood House and Saltgrass Steak House.

Micky Arison, Miami Heat: $5.2 Billion

  • Owner since: 1988
  • How much they purchased the team for: $32.5 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.95 billion

As CEO, Micky Arison helped to grow Carnival Corp. from two ships to more than 100. His father co-founded Carnival in 1972 with just one ship. Micky Arison has a net worth of $5.2 billion.

DeVos Family, Orlando Magic: $5.4 Billion

  • Owner since: 1991
  • How much they purchased the team for: $85 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.43 billion

In 1959, Richard DeVos and a high school friend named Jay Van Andel founded Amway, which would go on to become one of the biggest direct-sales corporations. Today, the company does $8.8 billion in sales and is still controlled by DeVos’ and Andel’s children. The family has a net worth of $5.4 billion.

Tom Gores, Detroit Pistons: $5.7 Billion

  • Owner since: 2011
  • How much they purchased the team for: $325 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.45 billion

An Israeli immigrant and self-made man, Tom Gores owns Platinum Equity, which now controls nearly $20 billion in assets spread across 25 companies. Not only is he worth $5.7 billion, but his brother is also a billionaire in the private equity industry. Gores originally bought the Pistons in conjunction with his company, but he later bought out Platinum Equity’s stake to own 100% of the franchise.

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Daniel Gilbert, Cleveland Cavaliers: $7 Billion

  • Owner since: 2005
  • How much they purchased the team for: $375 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.51 billion

Quicken Loans is the largest online mortgage lender, and it grew out of a company that Daniel Gilbert co-founded in 1985 at just 22 years old. Today, he has a net worth of $7 billion. In 2019, his online sneaker platform StockX became a unicorn — that’s when a privately held start-up reaches a value of $1 billion.

Robert Pera, Memphis Grizzlies: $8.5 Billion

  • Owner since: 2012
  • How much they purchased the team for: $377 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.3 billion

Robert Pera is the mastermind behind Ubiquiti Networks, a wireless broadband company that deals mostly with emerging markets. He’s worth $8.5 billion, much of which comes from the fact that he still owns nearly 75% of the company and serves as its CEO. He founded Ubiquiti shortly after joining Apple in 2003.

Stan Kroenke, Denver Nuggets: $10 Billion

  • Owner since: 2000
  • How much they purchased the team for: $202 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.6 billion

Much of the real estate owned by mogul Stan Kroenke are shopping plazas situated near Walmart stores. That strategy has earned him a net worth of $10 billion and about 30 million square feet of international real estate. He also privately owns about 2 million acres of ranchland in the U.S. and Canada. A sports mogul to boot, he owns not only the Nuggets but two soccer teams and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

Joseph Tsai, Brooklyn Nets: $10.6 Billion

  • Owner since: 2019
  • How much they purchased the team for: $3.3 billion
  • How much the team is worth: $2.5 billion

Alibaba is known as the Amazon of China, and Joseph Tsai co-founded the platform and remains the company’s No. 2 shareholder behind only Jack Ma. He first bought 49% of the Nets in 2018, then scooped up the rest one year later. Unusually, he’s found a way to actually lose money on an NBA team — so far. Joseph Tsai is worth $10.6 billion.

Jerry Buss Family Trusts and Philip Anschutz, Los Angeles Lakers: $11.2 Billion

  • Owner since: 1979 (Buss), 1998 (Anschutz)
  • How much they purchased the team for: $20 million (Buss), $268 million (Anschutz)
  • How much the team is worth: $4.4 billion

Jerry Buss, who owned the Lakers since 1979, died in 2013. In 1998, however, Philip Anschutz bought into the team, as well. Today he’s worth $11.2 billion. Anschutz is an old-school industry tycoon with a half-century record of highly profitable ventures in real estate, entertainment, telecom, oil and railroads.

Paul Allen Estate, Portland Trail Blazers: $20.3 Billion

  • Owner since: 1988
  • How much they purchased the team for: $70 million
  • How much the team is worth: $1.85 billion

Paul Allen was worth $20.3 billion when he passed away in 2018. One of the greatest innovators in history, he will always be remembered for co-founding Microsoft with Bill Gates. Also like Gates, he became a major philanthropist later in life, giving away more than $2 billion. He also owned a soccer team and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles Clippers: $60 Billion

  • Owner since: 2014
  • How much they purchased the team for: $2 billion
  • How much the team is worth: $2.6 billion

Another Microsoft veteran, Steve Ballmer is worth an estimated $60 billion. He was the company’s 30th employee in 1980 and led Microsoft as CEO from 2000-2014. Like Paul Allen and Bill Gates, he has dedicated much of his later life to global philanthropy, adding another $2 billion in Microsoft-earned money to charity. 

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All owner net worth information comes from 2020 real-time data from Forbes, except where otherwise noted.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Richest NBA Team Owners

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