In America, owning an NBA team would probably show the whole world that you’re actually doing well in terms of finance. In the recent list released by Forbes about the 400 Richest Americans, 14 of those are owners (or co-owners) of their own NBA teams.
14 Tom Benson
Thomas Milton “Tom” Benson, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, is ranked at 386th, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. He owns the New Orleans Pelicans, together with the football team New Orleans Saints. He made it big by investing his profits from various automobile dealings in local banks. Afterwards, he was able to buy small Southern banks to form Benson Financial. The same was sold to Wells Fargo in 1996. Benson purchased the New Orleans Hornets for $338 million in April 2012. The Hornets were then reborn as the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013, after the state bird of Louisiana, the Brown Pelican.
13 Glen Taylor
Glen Taylor is ranked at 327th, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. The Minnesota native is the majority owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Taylor worked his way up, working during and after college at Carlson Wedding Service. When the company owner Bill Carlson was about to retire in 1975, he offered to buy the company for $2 million, payable in 10 years. He managed to pay it early, and was the beginning of the Taylor Corporation. Taylor bought majority ownership of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1994 for $88.5 million.
12 Donald Sterling
Donald Sterling, a former attorney and a real estate developer, is at number 296, with a net worth of $1.9 billion. Sterling is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He was born Donald Tokowitz, and legally acquired Sterling as his surname. He started out his career as a personal injury and divorce lawyer, but made a fortune when he bought a 26-unit Beverly Hills apartment building. Sterling is currently the longest-tenured NBA team owner, owning the Los Angeles’ Clippers for 32 seasons from 1981 until present. He bought the San Diego Clippers for $12.5 million.
11 Herb Simon
Herbert “Herb” Simon is at 293, with a net worth of $1.95 billion. The American real estate magnate hails from Indiana, but was actually born in New York City, and grew up in the Bronx. He is a self-made billionaire, and the current Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Simon Property Group, Inc. In 1983, together with his brother, he bought the Indiana Pacers for $11 million.
10 Robert Pera
Robert Pera is worth $1.95 billion, and also at 293 in the list. He is the founder of Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. Before founding the company, he was a hardware engineer in Apple, Inc. from 2003 to 2005. After six years, he became a billionaire when his company went public in 2011. He purchased the majority share of the Memphis Grizzlies in June 2012.
9 Josh Harris
Joshua Harris lands at 222, with a net worth of $2.5 billion. He is a private equity investor. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and subsequently got his MBA from the Harvard Business School. He acquired the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011.
8 Mark Cuban
Sharing the 222nd spot is Mark Cuban with a net worth of $2.5 billion. He first worked as a bartender, and worked his way up until they eventually set up Broadcast.com. It was acquired by Yahoo for $5.9 million in Yahoo! stocks. He’s also involved with the HDTV cable network, as its chairman. He bought the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 for $285 million.
7 Tom Gores
Tom Gores is ranked at 201st, with a net worth of $2.7 billion. He has a Lebanese mother and a Greek father, and was born in Israel. At age 4, the family moved to Michigan. He founded Platinum Equity LLC in 1995, and has acquired about 130 companies since then. He purchased Palace Sports and Entertainment in 2011, including the Detroit Pistons.
6 James Dolan
Charles Dolan and family, including James Dolan, is worth $3.3 billion and is ranked at 151. He is the president and CEO of Cablevisions Systems Corporation. His father, Charles is the father of Cablevision. In 1999, he started to manage Cablevision’s sport properties, including the New York Knicks.
5 Dan Gilbert
Daniel Gilbert is worth $3.9 billion, and is ranked at 118. He grew up in Michigan, and is a licensed real estate agent, and is a member of the Bar in Michigan. He founded Rock Financial in 1985 along with three others, and it grew to be one of the largest mortgage lenders in the U.S. It was bought by Intuit, Inc. and was renamed to Quicken Loans. He bought majority ownership of the Cleveland Cavaliers in March 2005.
4 Stan Kroenke
Enos Stanley Kroenke is at 84, with a net worth of $5.3 billion. He was born in Missouri. Kroenke founded the Kroenke Group in 1983, a real estate development company. He also founded THF Realty in 1991, specializing in suburban development. He owns the Denver Nuggets, which is a part of the Kroenke Sports Enterprise.
3 Micky Arison
Ranking at 70th with a net worth of $5.9 billion is Micky Arison. He was born in Israel, and was the former CEO and current chairman of the world’s largest cruise operator, Carnival Corporation. He has owned the Miami Heat for the past 17 years, since 1995. He bought the Orlando Magic in 1991
2 Rich DeVos
Richard DeVos is at number 60, with a net worth of $6.8 billion. He is the 2nd richest NBA owner in the Forbes List. DeVos was born in Grand Rapids, MI. He is the co-founder of Amway, a multinational direct-selling company, which is among the largest private companies in the country.
1 Paul Allen
Paul Allen is worth $15.8 billion, and is the 26th richest man in America. He is best known as Microsoft’s co-founder, together with Bill Gates. He is also the founder of Vulcan, Inc. in 1986, a company focused with investment and project management mainly to manage Allen’s investments. He bought the Portland Trail Blazers in 1988 for $70 million, purchasing it from a Californian real estate developer.
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