Basketball is a popular team sport currently being played by over 250 million people worldwide. This is one of the world’s sports that attracts a huge viewership, more so in the United States. Perhaps this popularity in the United States is owed to the fact that the game originated from here.
In the US, the game of basketball is played widely at different levels. The national basketball league commonly referred to as the NBA is the most popular. Thirty teams that are split into two conferences, the Eastern, and the Western conferences play the league. The teams compete at the conference level where each team has to play the other to compete for the top spots. The eight top finishers proceed to the conference playoffs. At the end of each conference playoff, one team emerges the winner from either conference, and the two winners proceed to the finals. The two conference winners play against each other to produce the NBA national champion.
Due to the popularity as well as the large viewership enjoyed by the game, NBA has turned out to be a lucrative business. From players being traded to teams changing ownership, a lot of money changes hands as a result of the beautiful game. Before the beginning of every season, every team tries to bring in the players they consider the best to their teams by buying out their existing contracts from their current clubs.
Companies, both sports related and non-sports have not been left out in the business the NBA generates. Sponsorship deals as well as endorsements worth millions of dollars are always on offer to different teams as well as individual players. Numerous companies have gained publicity over the years through NBA teams through these ventures.
Most recently, NBA teams have changed ownership from an individual to another, or between investment groups. A while ago, Herb Kohl relinquished his stake in the NBA team, The Bucks. The franchise was sold to Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens, executives of a New York investment firm for about $550 million. Kohl who is a former U.S senator bought the team in 1985 and had kept it afloat since then.
However, the sale of The Atlanta Hawks is what has caused the shockwaves. It came as a surprise when Bruce Levenson announced he would be relinquishing his stake in the NBA team.
Bruce Levenson developed his love for sports while attending American University where he was studying for his law degree. Levenson visited the Washington Star where he began a career in journalism. He would later go ahead to form his own media house and take writing seriously. His journalism led him into the world of professional sports and as a result, he would end up buying The Atlanta Hawks together with the Phillips Arena. It is this share of the team that he purchased through Atlanta Hawks LLC that Bruce Levenson sold for $730 million.