Tsai buys rest of Nets, arena for $3.4 billion

Brett Yormark

Brett Yormark

In addition to the team, Tsai also forked over $700 million for the Barclays Center arena, the Nets' home since they moved to Brooklyn.

Tsai bought 49 percent of the Nets previous year for $1 billion, with the chance to purchase more shares before the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Nets signed former Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant, who led the Golden State Warriors to three consecutive NBA Finals, and fellow All Star Kyrie Irving this off-season. Tsai's net worth? $10.3 billion. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the transactions have not yet been completed.

The team said the transaction is expected to close by the end of September.

The $2.35 billion total value of the deal for the team, not including the arena, makes it the largest purchase price for an American professional sports team, surpassing the $2.2 billion paid by David Tepper to buy the Carolina Panthers and by Tilman Fertitta to buy the Houston Rockets.

Joe Tsai, co-founder of the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), will be the sole owner of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and the team's arena.

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It was a good one for Prokhorov, who in 2009 paid just $223 million for 80% of the Nets and 45% of the Barclays Center operating rights. He spent big in the first couple years after the move in a quest to chase a championship, but the team soon became one of the worst in the National Basketball Association before rallying to return to the playoffs last season.

"We are committed to maintaining Barclays Center's iconic status by bringing together culture, community, and entertainment for our fans and everyone in New York", Tsai said in a statement confirming his purchase on Friday.

"The team is in a better place today than ever before and I know that Joe will build on that success", Prokhorov said.

And Prokhorov said regarding Yormark's pending departure, "Brett had always made it clear to me that when the arena and team sold, he would move on and begin his next journey".

Tsai also sits on the board of NBA China. He oversaw the team's move from New Jersey to Brooklyn.but in the years following some disastrous trades, the most exciting events at the Barclays Center were J Balvin concerts. "I will be the beneficiary of Mikhail's vision, which put the Nets in a great position to compete".

A Yale Law School graduate, Taiwan-born Tsai is one of Alibaba's 18 founding members. He figures to help the NBA extend its growth in Asia, where the Basketball World Cup will be held in China this year before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He also oversaw the major transformation and reopening of NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, which is home to the Brooklyn Nets' G League team, the Long Island Nets.

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