The NBA, besides being one of the most interesting and competitive leagues in the world, is also a huge business, and you have to get a LOT of money just to get involved, so you know that if you own a team, you probably own way more stuff as well.
So, even if fans are in it for the fun, the owners are definitely in it for the cash, and as Chris Rock once said: You know the difference between rich and wealth? Well, Shaq’s rich, but the guy who signs his checks, well... He’s wealthy." Having said that, let’s take a look at the top 15 wealthiest owners in the association, so maybe you can find them and ask them for a buck or two.
Honorable Mention: Michael Jordan, Charlotte Hornets - Net Worth: $1.3 Billion
Well, the greatest player in the history of the game made a fortune out of himself, being one of the most lucrative images and a walking brand since taking the league for assault. Jordan doesn't make the top 15, but he deserves his spot here due to the way he earned his fortune, selling millions of sneakers on a yearly basis since signing that millionaire deal over 20 years ago. And could you imagine how much bigger it would be if it wasn't for the gambling?
15. Marc Lasry, Milwaukee Bucks - Net Worth: $1.7 Billion
Born overseas in Marrakech, Lasry got to the US at the age of 7, where he was raised in the middle of a Jewish family, spending his childhood in Connecticut before entering law school in New York City.
So, after starting his own investment company, Lasry’s worth grew dramatically, giving him the possibility to co-own the Milwaukee Bucks since 2014, hoping that Giannis Antetokounmpo will make him even richer.
14. Glen Taylor, Minnesota Timberwolves - Net Worth: $1.8 Billion
Taylor isn’t just the majority owner of the Twolves, but also the city’s WNBA franchise, the Minnesota Lynx, and he even owns the Star Tribune after his long career as a Senator.
Nonetheless, he was banned for some time in the NBA due to a secret contract, so he definitely has to be the perfect example of a wealthy politician.
13. Robert Pera, Memphis Grizzlies - Net Worth: $2 Billion
The fact that this guy is only 39 years old is probably the most impressive feature about him, being the youngest guy to make our list.
After being a complete nerd through college, his great grades and will to work secured him a spot at Apple, Inc. Afterwards, he used some of his savings and even his credit card to fund his very own company: Ubiquiti Networks. Just 7 years later and at the age of 34, he put his name at the top of the Grizzlies.
12. Joshua Harris, Philadelphia 76ers - Net Worth: $2.2 Billion
If this guy made a buck for every win the Sixers get, he’d be pretty much broke. Gladly, that isn’t the case, as Harris made a lot of money through private investing and know he has put his signature in several sports franchises, like the Premier League club Crystal Palace and the New Jersey Devils of the NHL, besides owning the Sixers, so you can definitely say he trusts the process.
11. Herbert Simon, Indiana Pacers - Net Worth: $2.8 Billion
This guy owns pretty much every strip mall and major grocery store, thanks to his Simon Property Group, a major name in the real estate industry.
Now, at age 82 and 34 years after buying the Pacers with his brother, the father of 10 is going to have a pretty hard time trying to convince Paul George to stay at Indy, as rumors state that PG-13 is going to be wearing purple and gold for the next season.
10. Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks - Net Worth: $3.2 Billion
If you’re an NBA fan, you HAVE to know this guy, as he’s definitely the loudest, vocal and funny owner the NBA has, always keeping involved with his Dallas Mavericks in pretty much every single aspect. On top of that, Cuban’s quite known for his TV show Shark Tank, but he made most of his wealth in a deal with Yahoo.com.
9. Tom Gores, Detroit Pistons - Net Worth: $3.9 Billion
If some of the former Pistons players knew where this guy lives, they'd probably mug him soon. The Israel native is one of the main guys when it comes to investing and seeing his capital grow on a daily basis. On top of that, as he used to be an athlete himself at Michigan State, playing both basketball and football.
Now, he owns the Pistons and is quite involved in the team’s operations, trying to live his sports career through his company, Palace Sports and Entertainment.
8. Richard Devos, Orlando Magic - Net Worth: $4.7 Billion
This guy spent years trying to bring baseball to the city, but he was never successful, so he had to settle for the disastrous Orlando Magic and some minor Hockey teams. Nonetheless, he spent most of his time with his company Amway, while also making a name for himself in politics, being a failed candidate for the Republican Party to run for the state of Michigan.
7. Dan Gilbert, Cleveland Cavaliers - Net Worth: $4.9 Billion
Well, you probably know about this guy due to the infamous letter and all that drama with LeBron James when The King decided to take his talents to South Beach and play for the Miami Heat, or for the time he fired David Blatt because LeBron didn’t like him.
He’s the founder of Quicken Loans, and he probably should thank LeBron for most of his wealth, as he’s the main (and only reason) why this franchise is actually on the map and his value keeps rising.
6. James Dolan, New York Knicks - Net Worth: $5 Billion
New York is pretty much the capital of the world so if you own a team in the big apple, you must be quite wealthy. So, as the founder and main chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company, this guy makes a lot of cash on a nightly basis with pretty much everything that happens in one of the most incredible arenas in the world; house of sports events, concerts and some of the best shows that visit town thanks to Madison Square Garden Entertainment and their partnership with Chase.
5. Micky Arison, Miami Heat - Net Worth: $7.1 Billion
This guy has to be one of the coolest billionaires in the world, as he uses his 200-foot yachts as home and is known for throwing some mean parties. As founder of the Carnival Corporation, he managed to buy the Miami Heat in 1995, taking the franchise to a whole new level since the arrival of Pat Riley, and being there in all those 3 championships the team has won.
4. Mikhail Prokhorov, Brooklyn Nets - Net Worth: $7.6 Billion
Let’s put it this way, Prokhorov has that much money that he could just waste it on the mediocre and disastrous Brooklyn Nets. I mean, who needs to win when you got that cash, right? Founding the ONEXIM group, the Russian’s company put his hands in about 17 billion dollars to invest.
A couple of years ago, he stated that he’ll get married if the Nets didn’t win a ring in 5 years, so make a line, ladies, now’s your chance.
3. Stanley Kroenke, Denver Nuggets - Net Worth: $7.7 Billion
Kroenke is one of the biggest names in American sports, owning the Colorado Mammoth, the Colorado Rapids, the Colorado Avalanche, the Los Angeles Rams and of course, the Denver Nuggets, as well as being one of the biggest shareholders of the Premier League giant, Arsenal. Seeing that, you’d have to tell he's quite wealthy, although apparently winning titles isn’t his biggest interest.
2. Paul Allen, Portland Trail Blazers - Net Worth: $17.5 Billion
As Kroenke, Allen is also a big shot when it comes to sports in the US, although he’s worth more than double Stanley and his teams actually win trophies (except for the Blazers). Besides the Trail Blazers, he owns the Seattle Sounders and the Seattle Seahawks, and he was the wealthiest owner in the Association until Steve Ballmer bought the Clippers from Donald Sterling a couple of seasons ago.
1. Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles Clippers - Net Worth: $23.5 Billion
Ballmer is the ultimate funny grandpa, and if you don’t believe us, just go to Youtube and look for his dances and rants on the sidelines of the Staples Center during pretty much any Clippers game. As a former Microsoft CEO, you know he had a lot of money to spare when he acquired a losing franchise to try and make them NBA champions, but it seems like their final shot is going to be yet another miss due to Blake Griffin’s latest injury.