Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai is officially the new owner of The Brooklyn Nets of the NBA. The NBA’s board of governors unanimously approved Tsai’s purchase of the Nets on September 18th, 2019.
Tsai spent a massive $3.5 billion for the team and arena, The Barclays Center. The sale is a new record for a U.S. sports franchise purchase. The native of Taiwan already had purchased 49% of the team from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov in 2018.
Tsai also hired David Levy, former Turner Sports president, as the new CEO of the organization.
“In addition to being a passionate basketball fan, Joe is one of China’s pre-eminent internet, media, and e-commerce pioneers,” said Adam Silver, NBA commissioner in a statement. “His expertise will be invaluable in the league’s efforts to grow the game in China and other global markets.”
It’s been an exciting year for the Nets so far with NBA superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both signing with the team during the offseason. The Nets will play two preseason games in China against the Los Angeles Lakers next month.