When you get right down to brass tacks …
For any NBA team:
1. The players are an extension of the head coach.
2. The head coach is an extension of the General Manager.
3. The General Manager is an extension of the CEO/President.
4. The CEO/President is an extension of the Owner.
5. The Owner is … precisely where ‘The Buck [starts and] Stops‘.
… perhaps the most important person in a free agent supertar’s future is their next owner. Coaches have an average tenure of a few years. Teammates change year in and year out.
But if you’re LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh or another top free agent, whoever owns your next team is going to make hundreds of decisions, year after year, with the potential to affect whether or not you win a title.
Hiring a coach, getting a new point guard, changing the defense … almost everything on an NBA team is malleable. But when under contract, even the most powerful superstars in the league have little-to-no influence over ownership. Which means as they shop for new teams, at the top of the list is finding the right owner.
Based on conversations with people familiar with the thinking of top free agents, including team personnel, agents, and insiders, here’s a list of owners who are best positioned to appeal to free agent superstars:
1. Dr. Jerry Buss
2. Mark Cuban
3. Mikhail Prokhorov
4. Micky Arison
5. Wyc Grousbeck
Where do you suppose Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Limited [MLSE] is ranked, according to TrueHoop?