Joe Tsai won’t take control of the Brooklyn Nets for another three years, but the NBA is wasting no time in getting him involved in their China operations. Commissioner Adam Silver, in China for the NBA Global Games, announced Friday that Tsai will join the board of directors for NBA China.
Tsai, who bought 49 percent of the Nets in April from Mikhail Prokhorov, is executive vice-chairman and co-founder of Alibaba, the giant China-based e-commerce company. His wealth is estimated at $9.4 billion, according to Bloomberg Business. Born in Taiwan and educated in the U.S., Tsai is a citizen of both Taiwan and Canada.
“I met with him this morning, along with our other board members and we’re looking forward to working closely with him to continue to build our business in China, particularly our media and e-commerce business, in which he has tremendous expertise,” said Silver during a press conference in Shanghai.
He added that Tsai had hosted a welcome dinner in Shanghai for the owners of the Mavericks and 76ers who are playing two games in China.
“Both groups of owners also attended a dinner hosted by Joe Tsai, who, of course, is the new owner of the Brooklyn Nets. Mr. Tsai has also joined the board of NBA China,” said Silver.
Tsai is listed as the Nets “Owner, Alternate Governor” on the team’s directory, but until he takes control in 2021, Prokhorov remains in charge of both basketball and business operations.