Who owns the NBA? The organizational structure of the NBA discussed

Who owns the NBA? The organizational structure of the NBA discussed

Claudia Kogi
updated at June 13, 2023 at 10:37 AM

The National Basketball Association, also known as the NBA, is a top-tier professional basketball league with 30 teams spread across North America. The value and appeal of owning an NBA club have increased due to the league's substantial expansion in recent years, particularly in financial success. However, the question of who owns the NBA is one that the league's fans need to be made aware of.

who owns the NBA franchise?
A referee throws a Wilson brand basketball during the game between the Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat at Little Caesars Arena on 19 March 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Nic Antaya
Source: Getty Images

Every sports league has an organisational structure, and the National Basketball Association is one of them. And while their main job is to make the league successful and turn it into a global brand, most managers and owners are often out to ensure they are the best.

When was the NBA founded?

The National Basketball League, established in 1937, and the Basketball Association of America, established in 1946, merged to become the NBA, a professional basketball league in the United States of America in 1949. Since then, the league has grown to be one of the most renowned sports leagues in the world and the top basketball league in North America.

How is the NBA structured?

Thirty teams make up the league, 29 of which are American and one from Canada. The Eastern and Western Conferences make up the NBA's two divisions. There are three divisions for each conference. The Pacific, Northwest, and Southwest are among the divisions of the Eastern Conference. The Atlantic, Central, and Southeast conferences are in the West.

Who owns the WNBA?
Nikola Jokic (15) of the Denver Nuggets is presented with the Earvin Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals Most Valuable Player trophy on 22 May 2023 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Garrett Ellwood
Source: Getty Images

Who owns the NBA?

The current league's commissioner is Adam Silver. Franchises are highly sought-after investments due to their rising global appeal, diversifying revenue sources, and profitable economic potential. Due to the possibility of significant profits on their investments, an array of affluent individuals and ownership groups have been interested in the ownership landscape.

These owners share responsibility for the league's management, determining its future course, and earning money from its expansion. As a result, the league's rapid expansion has benefited the league and raised the value and prestige attached to owning an NBA team.

As part of a consortium, the franchise owners of the teams own the NBA. There are currently 30 owners (matching the number of NBA franchises currently in existence). They all sit on the Board of Governors, and each team owner owns an equal stake. The team owners choose a commissioner or CEO to oversee league operations.

Who owns the NBA franchise?

Who owns the NBA league?
Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets talks to PJ Carlesimo of ESPN radio during 2023 NBA Finals Practice and Media Availability on 11 June 2023 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Jesse D Garrabrant
Source: Getty Images

After in-depth analysis, Sports Brief has compiled a list detailing the various NBA teams' owners in the arena.

  • Atlanta Hawks - Tony Ressler
  • Boston Celtics - Wyc Grousbeck
  • Brooklyn Nets - Joseph Tsai
  • Charlotte Hornets - Michael Jordan
  • Chicago Bulls - Jerry Reinsdorf
  • Cleveland Cavaliers - Dan Gilbert
  • Dallas Mavericks - Mark Cuban
  • Denver Nuggets - Ann Walton Kroenke
  • Detroit Pistons - Tom Gores
  • Golden State Warriors - Joe Lacob
  • Houston Rockets - Tilman Fertitta
  • Indiana Pacers - Herbert Simon
  • Los Angeles Clippers - Steve Ballmer
  • Los Angeles Lakers - Jeanie Buss
  • Memphis Grizzlies - Robert J Pera
  • Miami Heat - Micky Arison
  • Milwaukee Bucks - Marc Lasry
Who owns the NBA league?
Marcus Smart (36) of the Boston Celtics reacts during Round 1 game 6 of the 2023 playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks on 27 April 2023 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Adam Hagy
Source: Getty Images
  • Minnesota Timberwolves - Glen Taylor
  • New Orleans Pelicans - Gayle Benson
  • New York Knicks - James Dolan
  • Oklahoma City Thunder - Clay Bennett
  • Orlando Magic - Dan DeVos
  • Philadelphia 76ers - Joshua Harris
  • Phoenix Suns - Robert Sarver
  • Portland Trail Blazers - Jody Allen
  • Sacramento Kings - Vivek Ranadivé
  • San Antonio Spurs - Peter Holt
  • Toronto Raptors - Larry Tanenbaum
  • Utah Jazz - Ryan Smith
  • Washington Wizards - Ted Leonsis

Who owns the WNBA?

The NBA owns and manages the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association). As the WNBA's parent organisation, it provides the resources, infrastructure, and funding necessary to make the women's league a success.

Who owns the NBA G league?
Trae Young (11) of the Atlanta Hawks reacts during round 1 game 6 of the 2023 Playoffs against the Boston Celtics on 27 April 2023 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Adam Hagy
Source: Getty Images

The NBA owns most of the league, even though the ownership structures of individual teams in the WNBA may differ from those in the NBA.

What is the NBA G League?

It is the NBA's official minor league that prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the league while acting as the league's research and development laboratory.

Who owns the NBA G League?

Gatorade, an American sports-themed beverage and food product brand, currently owns the G League. It was founded in 2001.

Why do people decide to become team owners?

There are several reasons why people or organisations continue to spend substantial funds on NBA organisations. Even though they may only sometimes guarantee quick financial success, some owners may not have a strong desire to run their teams or be publicly linked with them actively.

For starters, having a franchise brings prestige and prominence. Owning a sports team, especially in a well-known league, can boost a person's status and give them a platform for networking and influence.

Who owns the NBA G league?
Trae Young (11) of the Atlanta Hawks reacts during round 1 game 6 of the 2023 Playoffs against the Boston Celtics on 27 April 2023 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Adam Hagy
Source: Getty Images

The ownership of an NBA club can also be a long-term investment. The value of NBA clubs has typically increased over time, making them desirable investments for long-term wealth accumulation despite potential short-term financial challenges.

Knowing about the NBA board of governors, individual franchise owners, and the collective owners, can now guarantee who owns the NBA. These owners have made significant financial commitments to the purchase and management of their respective teams. Despite the league's non-profit status, owning an NBA club is desirable due to the league's financial success and widespread appeal.

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Claudia Kogi photo
Claudia Kogi
Claudia Kogi is a Kenyan content creator with over 3 years of experience. Claudia joined Sportsbrief.com as a writer in January 2022, covering sports and relatable content.