• Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is the richest sports team owner
  • He overtook the top spot from Mukesh Ambani
  • Ballmer and his team purchased The Forum last month

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is a multibillionaire and he is the world’s richest sports team owner.

Ballmer acquired the team in 2014 for $2 billion. Back then, the Clippers were embroiled in a bitter spat with former owner Donald Sterling over leaked audio recordings laced with racist remarks. Sterling was banned for life by the NBA as a consequence. After Ballmer took over, the team started winning again.

India’s wealthiest man, Mukesh Ambani used to be the cash king when it came to sports owners’ net worth. However, COVID-19 affected his businesses heavily, and his net worth plummeted by as much as $13 billion. Despite the setback, Ambani remains second on the list with $36.8 billion. He owns the Mumbai Indians team in the Indian Premier League.

Micky Arison, owner of the Miami Heat, suffered big losses as his business cruise ship operator Carnival Corp. suffered amid tourism, travel and logistics restrictions due to COVID-19. Another NBA team owner, Tom Gores of the Detroit Pistons, gained the most, percentage-wise. His fortune increased by as much as 43 percent.

Kawhi Leonard Paul George Clippers
Kawhi Leonard speaks during his introductory news conference with Paul George at Green Meadows Recreation Center on July 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

On the other hand, Ballmer, whose management experience in Microsoft helped the company rise to the top under the guidance of Bill Gates, saw his fortune increase by as much as $11.5 billion during the pandemic, per Forbes. A lot of businesses suffered due to the restrictions and lockdowns, but those that offer tech services have fared better.

The Clippers owner has reached out to those affected in these trying times. He pledged to donate $25 million to organizations in Michigan, Seattle and Los Angeles and $10 million will be given to the University of Washington for the development of a vaccine.

Ballmer and his group decided to acquire The Forum in California for $400 million, paving the way for a future arena for the Clippers. The team has been sharing the home court with bitter rivals Los Angeles Lakers for some time now. With the new arena in the pipeline, it sends a strong message across the league: the Clippers have arrived and it will no longer be the other team in Los Angeles.

The NBA has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus. Since major sporting events are still prohibited in some areas, there are rumors that the league could resume in July but in a closed area. Experts are claiming that the Clippers are legit contenders for the title this season, with former Finals MVP and 2-time NBA champion Kawhi Leonard leading the charge.