NBA players, for the most part, are wealthy — no surprise there. If players manage their money correctly, the million dollar salaries and the endorsement deals can set a man for life.
But the players aren’t the only ones putting in work. There are tons of other power players who work in professional sports organizations.
The top dogs make bank.Forbes released its list of the top 400 richest Americans on Sept. 16. Out of those 400 people, as ESPN pointed out, 13 of them are NBA team owners.
Portland Trailblazers owner Paul Allen rolled in at No. 26 with a net worth of $15.8 billion. Then again, he also owns the Seattle Seahawks and co-owns Microsoft. Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos followed Allen at No. 60 with a net worth of $6.8 billion. In addition to his pro basketball endeavors, DeVos co-founded the marketing company Amway.
Their brains probably financially skyrocket certain owners, more so than their affiliation to NBA teams. Nevertheless, it’s still impressive.
Further down the list is the well-known Mark Cuban ($2.5 billion), and rounding out the NBA club is owner of the New Orleans Pelicans and the Saints, Tom Benson ($1.3 billion).
Speaking of the Pelicans, I honestly thought the name change was a joke. Last season they were the struggling Hornets, and now Benson hopes to revive the franchise as birds instead of bees.
The logic is said to be that the “Hornets” title had nothing to do with the culturally rich city of New Orleans because it was a name passed on from when they once occupied Charlotte, N.C. Therefore, they tweaked it to the Pelicans because that is the official state bird.
I mean, I guess it’s kind of cute. Zack Lowe of Grantland suggested that they could nickname themselves the “Pellies.” I’m not sure cute is what they were going for, though.
On Twitter, Nashville Morning Meteorologist Justin Bruce brought attention to the fact that “Pellies” connotes Teletubbies and that perhaps the “Pels” is a better option.
My opinion is that they should stick with NOLA and nothing else.
Anyway, I’m sure the historic city will find a way to breathe life into the Pelicans franchise, regardless of whether they choose to be called the Pellies or the Pels.
I’ll admit the logo has a sweet, crisp feel to it with the gold, navy blue and bright red. It makes for clean snapbacks and apparel.
Whether the funky combination of the awkward name with the classy color-way will translate into wins is unknown.
With Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers and Ryan Anderson on the roster, there is potential.
The team’s first test is against the Rockets in Texas on Oct. 5 — a solid match-up that’ll give the nation a taste of what’s to come in the Southwest.
Follow Alysha Tsuji on Twitter: @alyshatsuji
As published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Pepperdine Graphic.