The billionaire owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks are as sharp-elbowed because the NBA groups’ gamers — and that’s not all they’ve obtained in common.
Buyout king Josh Harris, who purchased the Sixers in 2011, is tied at a recreation a chunk within the second-round, best-of-seven playoff sequence in opposition to his fellow private-equity mogul Antony Ressler, who scooped up the Hawks in 2015.
What’s lesser recognized is that each financiers are alumni of Michael Milken’s Drexel Burnham Lambert, and each went on — together with billionaire Leon Black — to co-found the enormous buyout agency Apollo Global Management in 1990.
Ressler left Apollo in 2002 to type the buyout agency Ares Management. Black, in the meantime, introduced his shock exit in March amid rising controversy over his business ties to useless pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Harris wasn’t far behind, having lost a race to succeed Black on the helm of Apollo to co-founder Marc Rowan. That was after stories that Harris had urged Black to step down over his Epstein ties.
While tensions between Harris and Black have been well-reported, Ressler’s relationship with Black additionally is perhaps tense as of late. That’s as a result of Black is married to Ressler’s sister, Debra.
In addition to controversy over his monetary ties to Epstein, Black final week was slapped by a defamation lawsuit from an ex-Russian mannequin who claimed Black had raped her in 2014 regardless of Black’s earlier insistence that the pair had a “consensual affair.” Black denied the claims raised within the lawsuit.
While each Harris and Ressler could also be at odds with Black of late, they obtained alongside effectively sufficient throughout their early days at Apollo, in keeping with a supply near the scenario.
Reps for Harris and Ressler declined to remark.
It’s not the primary time personal fairness titans have had basketball groups meet within the playoffs, though it’s a uncommon incidence. The Milwaukee Bucks, owned by Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, in 2019 beat the Stephen Pagliuca-owned Boston Celtics within the NBA Semifinals.
“Private equity guys are relatively new sports team owners,” a sports activities banker mentioned. “Owners used to be real estate developers. I would think you would see more examples of this in the future.”