In an update to their list of richest sports team owners, two NBA owners —including Joe Tsai— are in the top ten but another NBA owner has lost more than 40 percent of his net worth.
Tsai comes in ninth in the world with a Forbes estimated fortune of $10 billion. (Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index has the Nets owner at $11.2 billion.) That’s second among NBA owners to the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer who’s one of the world’s richest men at more than $50 billion. Tsai, owner of the Nets, Liberty and Barclays Center, is now the second wealthiest owner in New York, behind Dietrich Mateschitz of the Red Bulls,
The Forbes ranking is as of this week and notes how much the owners’ wealth has fallen (or risen) since the beginning of the year. Tsai’s net worth, Forbes estimates, has dropped five percent. Micky Arison, owner of the Heat, has seen his number drop by 43 percent, most of any owner in the top 20. Arison is heavily invested in the hard-hit travel and leisure industries including cruise ships.
Although the list doesn’t include Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, he is facing a short term financial crisis. Fertitta is trying to raise more debt to keep his casino and restaurant empire afloat through year-end if the coronavirus shutdown continues. He’s reportedly offering 15 percent interest rates. Fertitta paid $2.2 billion for the Rockets two years ago which was the NBA record until Tsai paid Mikhail Prokhorov $2.35 billion for the Nets. The Alibaba co-founder also agreed to buy Barclays Center from Prokhorov bringing his total outlay to $3.4 billion.
With the NBA facing a number of financial challenges in both the short and long term, the league’s richest owners are likely to have greater advantages that they normally would.
- The World’s Richest Sports Team Owners - Kurt Badenhasen - Forbes