Every year, sports fans tune in to watch their favorite NBA teams.
It all leads to the NBA Championship where one team claims the ultimate prize and gets to bring home a championship ring.
Considering how popular the NBA is, you may wonder how it came about or who owns it.
Here are the answers.
Who Owns The NBA?
The various team owners that make up the NBA are the owners of the NBA.
Here’s a list of the team owners:
- Tony Ressler of the Atlanta Hawks
- H. Irving Grousbeck of the Boston Celtics
- Wycliffe Grousbeck of the Boston Celtics
- Steve Pagliuca of the Boston Celtics
- Michael Jordan of the Charlotte Hornets
- Jerry Reinsdorf of the Chicago Bulls
- Dan Gilbert, Gary Gilbert, Gordon Gund, and Usher of the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks
- Stan Kroenke of the Denver Nuggets
- Tom Gores of the Detroit Pistons
- Joseph Steven Lacob, Howard Peter Guber of the Golden State Warriors
- Tilman Joseph Fertitta of the Houston Rockets
- Herbert Simon of the Indiana Pacers
- Steve Ballmer of the Los Angeles Clippers
- Jeanie Marie Buss of the Los Angeles Lakers
- Robert J. Pera of the Los Angeles Lakers
- Micky Arison of the Miami Heat
- Marc Lasry of the Milwaukee Bucks
- Glen Taylor of the Minnesota Timberwolves
- Gayle Marie LaJaunie Bird Benson of the New Orleans Pelicans
- James Dolan of the New York Knicks
- Clay Bennett of the Oklahoma City Thunder
- Richard DeVos Sr. of the Orlando Magic
- Harris Blitzer of the Philadelphia 76ers
- Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns
- Paul Allen of the Portland Trail Blazers
- Vivek Ranadivé of the Sacramento Kings
- Peter Holt of the San Antonio Spurs
- Larry Tanenbaum of the Toronto Raptors
- Gail Miller of the Utah Jazz
- Ted Leonsis of the Washington Wizards
- Joseph Tsai of the Brooklyn Nets
- Joe Lacob of the Golden State Warriors
- Robert Pera of the Memphis Grizzlies
- Tilman Fertitta of the Houston Rockets
How Is The NBA Structured?
Because there isn’t a single owner of the NBA, you might be a little confused as to how it’s structured.
The NBA has one head which is the commissioner.
The current commissioner is Adam Silver.
He gets chosen to be the commissioner by the Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors is the name given to the collection of team owners or franchise owners.
They elect who they want to be the commissioner of the NBA.
There are also other positions that they choose, or they may have the individuals that they choose to make decisions.
Since all the team owners are technically the owners of the NBA, how do they handle finances?
Each team generates its own money on its own.
There are various ways for a team to make money.
They’re only able to make a certain amount of profit, however, before they need to put the excess funds towards the rest of the NBA.
Excess funds are often used to prop up a team that may not be doing well financially.
They choose to do this to ensure that everyone can compete.
Otherwise, the franchises would fail and there’d be no one left to compete with.
As an example, if the New York Knicks kept all their profits for themselves, a few failing teams would unlikely have the funds to support a team the following year.
The NBA would have fewer games which means less profit all around.
If the Knicks give their excess revenue to the failing teams, these teams can continue to financially support themselves and keep playing.
Everyone can stay in the game and keep giving viewers the type of matchups that they want to see.
Who Are The NBA Team Owners?
There are a lot of elements that make an NBA team successful.
It doesn’t solely fall on the players.
A lot of it is behind the scenes.
For example, if a team has an inattentive team owner, they might not have the funding that they need to practice well.
If they have a team owner with a huge ego, then the owner might think that they know best and want to play the part of the coach.
In their hubris, they might lead the team down a bad path.
As such, who owns a team can be quite important.
Here are some of the NBA team owners and what you need to know about them.
1. Tony Ressler
Ressler is a businessman who owns several businesses in the Atlanta area.
In particular, he owns businesses like Floor & Décor Outlets of America as well as Insight Global.
He and his team took control of the Atlanta Hawks in 2015.
He is both the owner and chair of the Hawks.
Ressler has two firms attached to him.
He helped co-found Apollo Global Management and Ares Management.
2. H. Irving Grousbeck
Grousbeck has been one of the owners of the Boston Celtics for some time.
He’s an entrepreneur who studied at Harvard Business School.
He also studied at Amherst College.
He’s a professor at Stanford University.
In 2022, he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Amherst College.
3. Wycliffe Grousbeck
Wycliffe Grousbeck is the son of H. Irving Grousbeck.
He joined the team ownership in 2002 and quickly changed the group’s name to Banner 17 LLC.
The name change signified the goal that Grousbeck wanted to work towards. He wanted the Celtics to win their 17th Championship.
That finally happened in 2008.
The Celtics won the NBA championship against the Los Angeles Lakers.
It was the first time they had won since their last streak in 1986.
4. Steve Pagliuca
Another team owner of the Boston Celtics is Steve Pagliuca.
He acts as the chairman of the Boston Celtics on the committee.
In the NBA, he’s a part of several different committees like the NBA Competition Committee and the Boston Celtic Basketball Committee.
His focus is on improving the team and getting wins.
When he’s not working within the NBA, he’s a managing director at Bain Capital.
With his help, the private equity firm has grown over the years.
It’s now worth $160 billion.
5. Michael Jordan
While Jordan needs no introduction, it’s worth stating that he currently owns the Charlotte Hornets.
Although he’s been part of the ownership of the Hornets since 2010, the team has quickly risen in value. Jordan bought in for $175 million.
The team is currently worth $1.5 billion.
Before becoming one of the team owners of the Hornets, Jordan was a player, himself.
He played for the Chicago Bulls and was one of the primary reasons why the team dominated and won several Championship rings.
Although he’s retired now, Jordan has remained a part of basketball.
6. Jerry Reinsdorf
Speaking of the Chicago Bulls, Reinsdorf is the owner of the team.
While Michael Jordan may be a famous player, Reinsdorf is a famous team owner.
He took control of the Chicago Bulls and the White Sox and has made improvements in both.
In particular, he’s been the owner of the Bulls for 30 years.
He was the one who decided to give the okay to Jordan to join the Bulls so many years ago.
Under his leadership, the Bulls won six NBA championships.
When Michael Jordan retired briefly from basketball, Reinsdorf also hired him onto the White Sox to play baseball.
Usher is co-owner with several other men of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Many know Usher as a musician.
He started off singing in competitions, but he quickly gained the attention of LaFace records who went on to make him a star.
Usher has released several albums since and has gone on to rule the Billboard.
Usher currently has a regular performance and show in Las Vegas.
8. Mark Cuban
Another famous team owner is Mark Cuban.
Besides being an owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Cuban is a famous investor and entrepreneur.
He’s started several successful businesses and invested in many other successful ones.
Besides being a successful entrepreneur himself, he also tries to support other fledgling entrepreneurs.
One of the ways he does this is by being a star on the series, Shark Tank.
The show puts together several investors who listen to pitches from business owners.
If they like the pitch and see the product or service as something that aligns with their portfolio, they choose to invest in it.
If the pitch isn’t great or if they don’t think it fits their portfolio, they pass.
Cuban has supported several entrepreneurs that have appeared on the show.
He also gives financial advice about investments and has started a new business that aims at making medical prescriptions a lot cheaper.
Unlike other team owners who may have purchased franchises for profit, Cuban’s decision was purely out of love and passion for the sport.
He ended up spending $285 million to buy the Mavericks.
He became the official team owner in 2000.
9. Stan Kroenke
There’s a little bit of duplicity when it comes to Kroenke’s ownership of the Denver Nuggets.
Kroenke owns several franchises outside of the Denver Nuggets.
For example, he also owns the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL. In the NHL, he owns the Colorado Avalanche.
He even owns an English soccer franchise.
His team is Arsenal.
On paper, it isn’t Kroenke that owns the Nuggets.
It’s his wife, Ann, that owns it.
That’s because of his affiliation with the Rams.
The NFL doesn’t allow team owners to also own teams in other markets, which means that the NFL doesn’t allow team owners to also own teams in the NHL or NBA, regardless of the fact that it’s an entirely different sport.
To get around that, Kroenke had his wife sign for the Denver Nuggets.
Despite that technicality, it’s still very much Kroenke who owns and represents the Denver Nuggets.
10. Tom Gores
When Gores first became an owner of the Detroit Pistons in 2011, there were a few other team owners with him.
In just a few years, however, Gores had bought them all out to become the only owner of the team.
That occurred in 2016 when he bought out the rest.
Part of his ability in being able to spend that much has to do with his business venture before becoming an NBA team owner.
He founded Platinum Equity.
It’s an equity firm based in California.
With a net worth of around $8.1 billion, it’s clear to see how Gores was able to get full control of the Pistons.
How Do You Become An NBA Team Owner?
If you have dreams of one day sitting on the Board of Governors and guiding the sport of basketball down a new path, you need to become an NBA team owner.
It isn’t as simple as applying, however.
Here are a few things you’ll need to do to become an NBA team owner.
1. Find A Purchasable Team
One of the first things you’ll need to do is find a team that’s willing to sell.
Not every NBA team is looking for a new owner or needs one.
Successful NBA teams, in particular, are usually pretty happy with their owner since it tends to mean that the owner is doing a great job of investing in them.
Your best chance is looking at teams with older team owners or failing teams.
Older team owners may be looking to retire.
If they don’t have anyone to pass their ownership to, they might be looking to sell.
Failing teams might also be looking for new ownership.
If they’re not satisfied with their current owner, they might push him to sell to someone else.
One of the toughest hurdles to jump is just finding a team to buy.
2. Demonstrating Your Skills And Plan
The next step of becoming an NBA team owner is to prove to the team why they should choose you as an owner.
You might be able to wave money at them, but they usually want to see that you have some sort of plan to help them get more wins.
For example, you might reveal that you intend to open a state-of-the-art gym that they can use to become tougher and fitter than ever.
With better fitness, they can outlast their opponents and win more games.
If the team suffers from a particular problem, like a lack of audience attendance, you might show plans about how you would solve that problem.
Some teams also want credentials.
They might want to know how familiar you are with the sport.
They might also want to know how good you are at running a business.
If you’re able to prove to them why they should choose you as an owner, you’re on your way to becoming one.
The final thing you need to become an NBA team owner is a whole lot of money.
NBA teams tend to sell for millions, if not billions, of dollars.
That’s why a lot of team owners are wealthy investors or businessmen.
They have the extra capital that they can throw around.
Besides having enough money to purchase the team, you also need to have enough money to fund the team’s needs.
Becoming an NBA team owner isn’t something you can do if you don’t have a lot of capital laying around.
The NBA is entirely owned by the various team owners of the NBA teams.
They form the Board of Governors who make managerial decisions.
Becoming an NBA team owner isn’t easy, but if you have the money and can find the right team, it’s possible to become an owner of the NBA, too.