Obama's post-White House dream to buy an NBA team

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a Golden State Warriors basketball jersey presented to him during an event with the team. Photo / Getty
U.S. President Barack Obama holds a Golden State Warriors basketball jersey presented to him during an event with the team. Photo / Getty

US President Barack Obama has never been one to follow the well trodden path.

As the first African American president in US history, Obama could also become the first former political front man to own an NBA team.

According to US press secretary Josh Earnest, Obama is already considering his options post-retirement, with the possibility of NBA ownership a realistic passion.

When questioned on whether he would actually pursue that passion, it wasn't ruled out. "Potentially," he said. "Under the right circumstances."


The 44th president of the United States has expressed interest in the venture before, and is a fan of his home town Chicago Bulls. Speaking with GQ Magazine in November last year, Obama said he would "absolutely" want to be in part ownership of a team in the NBA.

"I have fantasised about being able to put together a team and how much fun that would be," he said. "I think it'd be terrific."

While he may have the desire to move into franchise ownership, questions have arisen surrounding Obama's financial capacity to purchase a team.

With a yearly salary of US$400,000 as president and a reported current net worth of US$12.2 million, any part-ownership would be on an incredibly small scale.
Since last year, the average net worth for a franchise in the NBA has increased 13 per cent to US$1.25 billion, according to Forbes.

This makes outright ownership well out of Obama's realistic price range - he would have to give up everything he owns just to purchase 1.2 per cent of the average team.

To put it in perspective, Steve Ballmer, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is the most wealthy NBA owner, with a net worth of US$25 billion.

For now at least, NBA ownership for Obama may have to remain a pipe dream.

- news.com.au

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