September 18, 2013 4:08 AM EST
Forbes' List of 400 Richest Americans includes 14 NBA Team Owners (#14-#8)
What do you do when you have a boatload of money and nothing to use it on? Why, spend it on sports, of course! Some people buy season tickets and box seats, while others buy islands and build golf courses.
Others, though, buy not just seats or islands, but entire teams. After all, what better way to spend your money than to invest in something that makes even more money (and brings pride to your city of choice)? NBA teams -- the gift that keeps on giving. And sports fans everywhere love them more for it. Here are the first seven NBA billionaire owners.
#14 Tom Benson (New Orleans Pelicans, $1.3 billion)
Making the Forbes list for the second straight year, Tom Benson first made his fortune from automobile dealerships, later pouring in the profits into a banking group that became known as Benson Financial. Benson bought the New Orleans Hornets from NBA management in 2012, renaming it the Pelicans in 2013.
#13 Glen Taylor (Minnesota Timberwolves, $1.7 billion)
Educated at Minnesota State University and Harvard, Glen Taylor worked at a wedding invitation manufacturer, which he purchased on installment in 1975, turning it into the Taylor Corporation. Taylor was also a Minnesota state senator from 1981 to 1988.
#12 Donald Sterling (Los Angeles Clippers, $1.9 billion)
A proud Angeleno, Donald Sterling was a gymnast in high school and went to law school in Los Angeles. He first made his name as a divorce attorney before setting his sights on real estate. In 1981, Sterling bought the struggling San Diego Clippers for $12.5 million.
#11 Herb Simon (Indiana Pacers, $1.95 billion)
Growing up Jewish in the Bronx was not easy for Herb Simon. However, he was able to convert that experience into business savy, building the shopping mall firm Simon Property Group. He is also the owner of Kirkus Reviews. Simon has been married thrice; he is currently married to a former Miss Universe.
#10 Robert Pera (Memphis Grizzlies, $1.95 billion)
Talk about starting young and starting at the bottom -- 35-year-old Robert Pera (left) started out as an engineer with Apple before founding Ubiquiti Networks in 2005. When his company went public in 2011, Pera suddenly found himself a billionaire. Pera purchased the Grizzlies in 2012 for $350 million.
#9 Josh Harris (Philadephia 76ers, $2.5 billion)
Josh Harris is one of the co-founders of Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm which buys distressed securities. Harris wrestled in college and is also the principal owner of the New Jersey Devils of the NHL.
#8 Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks, $2.5 billion)
The flamboyant Mark Cuban built his fortune around Broadcast.com which was purchased by Yahoo! for $5.9 billion in 1999. He also has a chain of arthouse theaters and has appeared in the shows Shark Tank, WWE Raw, and the Colbert Report.