Sports franchise ownership is a privilege reserved for the ultra-rich, and even within that exclusive club there is a clear hierarchy of wealth.
Ahead we’ve highlighted the 10 richest NBA owners based on their current estimated wealth. Be warned, net worth figures fluctuate on a daily basis. In fact, some were changing as this article was being written, thanks to the real-time net worth feature from Forbes.
The net worth figure for each billionaire contains a link to their Forbes profile where you can find an updated figure.
So who qualifies for this list?
We’re not looking at any family trusts, so that eliminated the Jerry Buss family trust that owns the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dan DeVos family trust that owns the Orlando Magic, and the James Dolan family trust that owns the New York Knicks.
We’re simply looking for the 10 richest individuals who call themselves NBA owners.
It may come as a surprise to learn that the two highest profile owners in the sport don’t make the cut. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban ($4.2 billion) falls just short and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan ($1.6 billion) is well outside the top 10.
Here are the 10 richest owners in the NBA.
10. Tony Ressler, Atlanta Hawks
Net Worth: $4.3 billion
Ressler has a Wall Street background and he is the co-founder of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management.
He purchased the Atlanta Hawks in 2015 for $730 million, along with a group of investors that also includes former NBA star Grant Hill.
Aside from being the majority owner of the Hawks, he also holds a minority stake in the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.
9. Joshua Harris, Philadelphia 76ers
Net Worth: $5 billion
Another of the co-founders of Apollo Global Management, Harris is the majority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils hockey team, along with holding a minority stake in Crystal Palace FC.
He teamed with David Blitzer of the private equity firm Blackstone Group to form Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment investment group. They purchased the 76ers for $280 million in 2011.
The team is now valued at over $2 billion.
8. Tom Gores, Detroit Pistons
Gores is the founder of Platinum Equity, a private equity firm that oversees more than 25 companies. The firm raised $10 billion from investors in 2019, sending his net worth climbing in the process.
He purchased the Detroit Pistons with the help of Platinum Equity in 2011 before buying out the firm’s stake in 2015 to become 100% owner.
The Pistons were bought for $325 million after Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Illitch failed to come to terms with the widow of former owner Bill Davidson during an exclusive negotiating window.
7. Micky Arison, Miami Heat
Net Worth: $6.8 billion
The CEO at Carnival Corporation—the world’s largest cruise line—for 34 years, Arison took control of the Miami Heat in 1995.
His father was the co-founder of Carnival when they had just one ship, and he was instrumental in bringing the Heat to Miami as an expansion team in 1988.
Shortly after taking control of the team, Arison hired Pat Riley as head coach, and his teams have won three NBA championships during his time as owner.