Aug 2, 2011, 2:50 PM EDT
This has been the general reaction of Sixers fans to the team being sold (the other NBA owners just need to approve it): “Good, Ed Snider only cared about hockey… wait, who is buying the team?”
The answer is Joshua Harris.
Which leads to the next question, who is Joshua Harris?
Kate Fagan delves into that over at the Philadelphia Inquirer in a post every 76ers fan should read. Philly fans may not know the guy, but they are going to like him.
Harris, head of the investment group whose ownership of the 76ers is pending approval by the NBA board of governors, seems like a man with few weaknesses: He’s a billionaire, a respected businessman, a family man, and an athlete – not necessarily listed in order of importance.
He ran the 2010 New York City Marathon in a time of 3 hours, 53 minutes, 41 seconds. He has five children with his wife, Marjorie. According to Forbes, he’s worth $1.2 billion. He recently attended his 20-year reunion for Harvard Business School and came across as the same guy he was back in the days when M.C. Hammer was cool and when Harris couldn’t afford to buy a small country: kind, down-to-earth, charming, clearly the smartest in a room filled with intelligence.
Harris also attended Penn in the mid-1980s, when the Sixers won the NBA title, and that’s when he became a Sixers fan (and Philly sports fan generally). He now rums a private equity firm — Apollo Global Management — but he is buying the team with a group of investors, not with the firm (as happened with Tom Gores in Detroit).
It’s interesting that he has largely avoided the spotlight for a guy who has amassed more than $1 billion in wealth. The Sixers purchase is really his first move that will generate headlines with his name in them. Read the entire profile, he sounds like an interesting man. And Sixers fans will like what they read.
“I can’t see him using this as a toy or a status symbol or some kind of crown jewel to illustrate his success to people or to himself,” (college friend Scott) Stewart said. “He’s a serious businessman, and he wants to make it a serious success. Is this a toy? No. There’s just no way. . . . The way to be successful in this case in the NBA is to win NBA championships. It’s a very definitive and tangible goal. His track record of success would lead you to believe that that’s his ambition with the team: not only to win one but win multiple.”
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