Indonesian media magnate Mr. Erick Tohir was officially announced recently as one of the owners of professional National Basketball Association (or NBA) team the Philadelphia 76ers, following the NBA’s Board of Directors’ approval on the sale.
While a slew of Asian businessmen bought into English League clubs recently, such as Tan Sri Dato Sri Dr Tony Fernandes from Malaysia who was recently unveiled as a majority shareholder of the Premiership side Queens Park Rangers and Dato’ Vincent Tan (Malaysia) and Mr. Carson Yeung (Hong Kong) with Cardiff City Football Club and Birmingham City Football Club respectively, Erick Thohir owns the distinction of being the first ever Asian owner of an NBA team.
Erick is well known in his home country of Indonesia as the founder and owner of Mahaka Media but basketball has always been his passion. This is evident in his continuous efforts to grow the sport in the region in his capacity as the current President of the South East Asian Basketball Association (or SEABA) and his most recent acquisition looks like it could mean a foreshadowing of NBA teams being more involved in the region.
Erick Thohir’s involvement has proven that Asian businessmen have the clout to join the ranks of other big names like Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien, film producers and Hollywood power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, all of whom are also part owners of the Sixers.
The Philadelphia 76ers (also known as the Sixers) is a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States of America and one of the oldest franchises in the NBA. The Sixers play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the NBA and boast a rich history in the NBA, having won three championships during its tenure as well as having some of the greatest basketball players ever to play in the NBA in its squad, including Wilt Chamberlain, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson.