By Robert Stitt
President Obama has never disguised his love for basketball. From the pictures of him shooting hoops to his very public March Madness picks, there has probably never been a bigger basketball fan seated in the Oval Office. Of course, Obama won’t be sitting in the Oval Office come January. Even so, while his residence and occupation may change, his love for basketball will not.
Does he love the game enough to buy a team? Celebrity Net Worth reports that “White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama would ‘potentially’ pursue owning a franchise ‘under the right circumstances.'” The question is – could he do it?
The average NBA team is worth $1.5 to 2.5 billion. The New York Knicks and the Los Angels Lakers top the league at close to $5 billion and the Bucks bring up the bottom at a mere $500 million to just over $1 billion. Where do Obama’s beloved Chicago Bull’s fall? Just under the Lakers at $2.5 to $3.5 billion.
While Obama may be friends with the current owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, it is unlikely that Reinsdorf is going to sell anytime soon. And, even if he did, he would not sell a multi-billion dollar team for the Obama’s combined net worth of just over $12 million.
Does that take Obama out of the running altogether? Not necessarily. As Celebrity Net Worth points out, ex-presidents can make a whole lot of money speaking, writing memoirs, and collecting royalties. Bill Clinton brought in nearly $200 million in speaking and book monies alone.
While it is unlikely that Obama is ever going to raise the cash to purchase a team outright, he may become a minority owner and get his share in the glory. Certainly, many franchises could use the boost in publicity a Presidential owner could bring.
Then again, being an NBA owner takes time as well as money. Will Obama have the time to help own a team if he is busy speaking and writing to pay the bills? Time will tell.