• Joseph Tsai acquired the Brooklyn Nets in 2019
  • He has an estimated net worth of $11.9 billion as of 2021
  • Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is the wealthiest sports team owner in the world with $73.5 billion

Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai has an estimated net worth of $11.9 billion. But when compared to fellow NBA team owner Steve Ballmer’s net worth of $73.5 billion, the Nets owner’s fortune seems modest in comparison.

Tsai was born in Taiwan, educated in the U.S. and has Canadian citizenship, according to Celebrity Net Worth. As vice-chairman and co-founder of Alibaba, he has the second biggest stake in the company aside from Jack Ma. When the two first met in 1999, Tsai accepted a $50 per month salary from the Chinese billionaire, Forbes reported.

With a background in economics and a law degree, the 57-year-old helped Alibaba secure funding in its early stages. He was responsible for securing almost $8 billion in financing in 2005. Tsai was also instrumental in the Alibaba-Yahoo deal in the same year. Among the positions he has held in the company are founding member, chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

Tsai acquired 48% of the Brooklyn Nets in 2018 and managed to acquire the rest of the stakes after a year. Under his leadership, the team made the NBA playoffs for two consecutive years.

On the other hand, his fellow tech billionaire Ballmer has had a colorful history as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. He took over the team in the fallout of Donald Sterling’s controversial remarks in 2014. At the time, the Clippers were in disarray and the players had low morale. He reignited the team and can often be seen showing animated reactions on the sidelines during games.

According to Forbes, the former Microsoft CEO has an estimated net worth of $73.5 billion, making him the richest sports team owner in the world in 2020. Just like what he did with the Clippers, the 64-year-old righted the ship at Microsoft at a time when the company was experiencing difficulties amid challenges from Google and Apple.

Under his leadership, the Clippers have had a rollercoaster ride in the playoffs since 2014. The team made the playoffs six out of seven times but only made the second round of the postseason thrice, according to Basketball RealGM. However, with a retooled roster for the Clippers and the Nets, fans can now have something to look forward to in the postseason.

The Nets recently acquired James Harden from the Houston Rockets to pair with his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. It remains to be seen if the players can build chemistry on the court fast, but on paper, the lineup of Brooklyn is loaded with firepower.

On the other hand, the Clippers will still rely on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to avenge their dismal playoffs performance last season. The team barely knocked off the Dallas Mavericks and squandered a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round. With Tsai and Ballmer at the helm, expect the Nets and the Clippers to be competitive in the next few years.

Steve Ballmer
Los Angeles Clippers owner, Steve Ballmer, announced his stake in Twitter Inc. via a tweet Friday. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images