Will Smith Buys Philadelphia 76ers Pro Basketball Team – Shareholder. Smith is now part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers along with wife Jada after they bought a minority stake in the team. Jada Pinkett is a native to the area. The team was confirmed by the NBA on Tuesday.
The “Men In Black” star and his wife are part of an ownership group that includes a former NBA executive, leveraged buyout specialist Josh Harris and an Indonesian media magnate, according to the league’s website. The group takes ownership from Comcast-Spectator, which, led by chairman Ed Snider, purchased the team in 1996.
“This is one of the hardest business decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Snider said in a statement on Tuesday. “The Sixers are family, and it is very difficult to say goodbye to an organization of great people with whom we have worked so closely over the last 15 years.”
Forbes magazine has valued the 76ers at $330 million this year, which is 17th in the league. The Philadelphia Daily News reported that the new owners paid about $280 million. Will has now joined the club of rappers which include Jay-Z, Nelly and Usher as part NBA owners with the investment.
So far, the new group of owners have slashed tickets prices on nearly 9,000 seats and established the website NewSixersOwner.com to solicit fan feedback. The team has a television deal with cable station Comcast SportsNet through 2029.
The Sixers haven’t won a championship since 1983. Their latest finals appearance came in 2001, led by NBA superstar Allen Iverson. However, they ultimately lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. In the last decade, the team has won just one playoff series, and haven’t had a winning records since the 2004-05 season. However, they have made the playoffs three times since. Last season, the Sixers won 41 games and stretched the Miami Heat to a five-game playoff series in Doug Collins’ first season as coach.