New philosophy for NBA titans

Current NBA owners are learning that the more they invest, the more they make

Originally Published: May 13, 2014
By Peter Keating | ESPN The Magazine

NumbersJason Schneider for ESPNThe new kingdom of NBA owners abides by an economic rule that their predecessors never learned.

NOW THAT NBA Nation has recognized that Donald Sterling is, to use a Bill James phrase, the north end of a southbound brontosaurus, the fun can begin. The league will need to find new owners who can transform the Clippers from scurrilous bottom-feeders to a community franchise worthy of its fans. It's a huge opportunity, and the forthcoming christening reflects the evolving nature of NBA ownership.

Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.