The richest NBA team owners

The pro-basketball league prefers to label top stakeholders as 'governors'

The NBA’s ownership ranks include some of the world’s richest individuals, including tech industry titans and international real estate moguls.

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The average NBA team’s valuation was $2.12 billion as of February 2020, according to Forbes’ annual calculations. The NFL is the only professional sports league with a higher average valuation for its franchises.

The NBA is unique among top U.S. sports leagues in that it refers to its team owners by an entirely different name. Commissioner Adam Silver said in June 2019 that the league had “moved away” from term out of concern that it could be deemed insensitive, instead referring to each team’s top stakeholder as “governor.”

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FOX Business breaks down the NBA’s richest team governors below, according to Forbes’ calculations.

Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles Clippers

Steve Ballmer (Photo/Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Estimated net worth: $66.6 billion

The longtime Microsoft CEO, who stepped down from that role in 2014, is one of the world’s richest people. He paid a then-NBA record $2 billion to buy the Clippers from disgraced former owner Donald Sterling in 2014.

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 Joseph Tsai, Brooklyn Nets

Joseph Tsai (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Estimated net worth: $11.5 billion

Tsai was a co-founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba and remains one of its largest shareholders. He completed a total acquisition of the Nets in 2019 in a deal that valued the franchise at $2.35 billion.

Stan Kroenke, Denver Nuggets

Stan Kroenke (Photo/Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Estimated net worth: $9.7 billion

Kroenke is a prominent real estate mogul and he owns the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and English soccer club Arsenal. He bought the Nuggets in 2000.

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Robert Pera, Memphis Grizzlies

Estimated net worth: $8.1 billion

Pera made his fortune as founder and CEO of Ubiquiti Networks, a wireless technology firm. He bought majority ownership of the Grizzlies in 2012.

Mickey Arison, Miami Heat

Micky Arison (Photo/Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Estimated net worth: $7.9 billion

Arison co-founded cruise ship operator Carnival and serves as chairman of the board. He inherited the Heats from his father in 1995.

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