The Brooklyn Nets have seen some major changes occur this offseason. While All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell is now a member of the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn was able to land both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency. Now, it turns out the franchise will feature someone new at the very top.
According to Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Taiwanese billionaire Joseph Tsai is slated to become the Nets’ new owner. Tsai, the co-founder and vice chair of Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group, had previously purchased 49 percent of the franchise for $1 billion. Now, in a move that was expected to happen at some point, Tsai will buy out the remaining 51 percent of the team owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who purchased the Nets back in 2010.
Via New York Post:
The $2.35 billion transaction would mark the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise — beating hedge fund owner David Tepper’s $2.2 billion acquisition last year of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, and Tilman Fertitta’s $2.2 billion purchase of the NBA’s Houston Rockets in 2017.
Tsai already owns 49 percent of the team, which he bought for $1 billion last year. At that time, the 55-year-old businessman locked in the right to buy the remaining 51 percent of the team before the 2021-2022 basketball season, for an additional $1.35 billion.
The Post reported that Tsai, whose net worth is estimated to be a hair under $10 billion, should be announced as the team’s new owner sometime this week. This isn’t his only foray into basketball ownership in the Big Apple, as a group he spearheaded purchased the WNBA’s New York Liberty in early 2019.