There are 30 teams in the NBA but not only 30 owners. The NBA teams are often owned by a group of people or multiple corporations. There have been some recent ownership changes, which media followed very closely, mostly due to the fact that the NBA market has drastically changed over the course of one year. Some teams almost doubled their value because of the television deals the NBA has arranged. Also, the value of the franchises has risen in a short time, and some thought it was a good time to sell while others thought it was a perfect time to buy.
There are some owners who have been holding on to their NBA team for a longer period of time. Some new owners have been recently introduced in the NBA, and Michael Jordan, a former star player, is just one of them. He has been the second largest shareholder of Charlotte Bobcats since June 2006. However, the last year marked a couple of changes. In January, for example, Milwaukee Bucks were valued by Forbes at $405 million, which was last among the NBA teams. The revenues of the club were the lowest overall in the last NBA season. The Milwaukee Bucks were bought for $18 million by Herb Kohl in 1985, but the value of NBA teams, including the Bucks, has increased rapidly. They were sold for $550 million last year to a group led by Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens, two well-known hedge fund managers.
Former Atlanta Hawks Owner – Bruce Levenson
A team like Bucks was not in such a good shape like the Hawks were, for example. Last season, besides winning 60 games and achieving a franchise record, the Hawks were also the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Also, they won 19 games in a row in January and their odds for going for the playoff trophy were getting bigger. However, only Bruce Levenson, their former owner according to wikipedia.com, knew what the odds of the team being put up for sale that January were. The remaining partners soon followed and agreed to sell their shares in the franchise. The Atlanta-based group of Michael Gearon Jr. and Michael Gearon Sr., Rutherford Seydel and Beau Turner sold their 32.3% of the franchise, in addition to the 17.6% of the New York-based group led by Steven Price.
Last year, the Hawks were valued by Forbes at $425 million; however, the price for Hawks went all the way up to $730 million when the new owner Ressler recently bought the Hawks. Last spring, he was also interested in buying Los Angeles Clippers and was among the three finalists in that deal.
The former Hawks owner, Mr. Bruce Levenson is also the Partner and Co-Founder of UGC (United Communications Group). In 2004, Mr. Levenson, Gearon and others purchased the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers, together with the Atlanta Hawks and the operating rights to Philips Arena, which cost them $250 million. In 1997, together with Mr. Ed Peskowitz, Mr. Levenson co- founded UGC, and he still has an important role in the company even after 27 years and continues to drive its business forward. Besides being the President of the “I Have a Dream Foundation” in Washington, he has devoted lots of time to other philanthropic activities.