This is NBA season 2020, So need to watch NBA live stream online for free in HD because team LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer owns more Microsoft shares than Bill Gates, and the tech company recently saw its shares hit a record price, pushing Ballmer’s net worth to more than $70 billion. He has gained $10 billion since the start of the year and recently spent $100 million to buy the Forum in Inglewood, an arena he’s not interested in playing in so that he could construct a new billion-dollar arena for the Clippers down the street.
With the Clippers having several key free agents in Montrezl Harrell and Marcus Morris Sr., Ballmer’s liquidity and a potential tight market elsewhere makes it clear how all of this could matter.
The Los Angeles Lakers are a family-run company, the controlling ownership held by the six children of the late Dr Jerry Buss. Though they have billionaire minority owners Philip Anschutz and Patrick Soon-Shiong, the Busses don’t have deep pockets compared to their peers. It’s one of the reasons the Lakers applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from the government at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, though they later returned the $4.6 million they were granted.
The Lakers, however, still likely will have no issues in re-signing star Anthony Davis, as their local television deal brings them around $200 million annually, sources said. Added with their national television share, the Lakers could bring in more than $300 million if they don’t sell a single ticket. Many other teams aren’t in a similar position.
Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta took out a $300 million loan at more than 10% interest in April to handle the debt service on his hundreds of restaurants, hotels, casinos and the Rockets, whom he bought for $2.2 billion in 2017. His recent purchase of the Rockets franchise, which he wholly owns, at a record price means he is more leveraged than other owners. Fertitta has said recently in multiple interviews that he doesn’t intend to sell any portion of the team to raise money. Brokers who have approached him privately representing bidders have been told the same, sources said.
In July, Fertitta sued the Rockets’ insurance company, Affiliated FM Insurance, because it denied a $400 million claim of its business interruption insurance after the NBA was halted due to the virus. Other teams are reviewing their policies and considering their own legal options, sources said.
Houston owes $119 million to its five highest-paid players — led by $41 million each for Russell Westbrook and James Harden — for next season.
Owners are allowed to borrow $325 million against the equity in their teams. Even though some teams have more than a billion in equity, that rule has long existed to protect teams from being overleveraged. A majority of teams, including the Warriors and Rockets, have already maxed out that credit, sources said.
There have been some discussions about raising that debt ceiling, sources said, but the NBA just boosted it from $250 million to the current $325 million in 2018.
Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon has seen his company, mall operator Simon Properties Group, lose more than $25 billion in stock value since January. The Pacers’ payroll for next season is slated to be more than $125 million, highest in team history, and star Victor Oladipo is eligible for a contract extension.
Miami Heat owner Micky Arison has lost $2.5 billion in net worth since March, after his Carnival Cruise Lines Corp. was shuttered. Though the Arison family has a completely different debt portfolio than recent buyers, they bought the team in 1987 for $32.5 million. In 2015, Arison liquidated $433 million in Carnival stock.
The Heat have the second-highest payroll in the NBA this season with several key players such as Goran Dragic, Jae Crowder and Meyers Leonard headed for free agency. While they expect to save cap room to chase free-agent stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021 and might not extend young All-Star Bam Adebayo this year to help facilitate that plan, their spending for next year could be impacted by these financial factors.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s ownership, led by Clay Bennett, is largely supported by the energy business, which has taken a financial beating in recent months. After Bennett, the largest stakeholders are the estate of Aubrey McClendon, whose shares have been for sale for more than a year, and George Kaiser, a banking and energy magnate who has lost more than $2 billion in net worth since last year. One of its primary sponsors, Chesapeake Energy, filed for bankruptcy in June.
The Thunder have the third-highest payroll in the league with key player Danilo Gallinari headed to free agency. All-Star point guard Chris Paul is scheduled to make $41 million next season, set to be the second-highest salary in the NBA.
All owners, many of whom run hedge funds or are in private equity, are impacted in some way by the virus, as markets have fluctuated over the last five months. There is also uncertainty about how a deal with the players will pan out; with the current 50-50 revenue split, the players are contractually obligated to share the losses with owners by giving back money from their contracts.
Getting a clear picture of what will happen in October, when the NBA’s offseason is expected to commence, is a challenge. But the signs already point to hard decisions coming and possible player movement to handle the money challenges.
“With few exceptions, no one wants to make long-term commitments right now,” one general manager said. “You can already feel it coming.”