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6 NBA Teams That Desperately Need a New Owner

Chris MaddenAnalyst IISeptember 13, 2012

6 NBA Teams That Desperately Need a New Owner

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    In the NBA, like any professional sports league, there are good owners and bad owners. The good ones usually succeed because they hire intelligent people to make the basketball decisions. Bad owners usually meddle in affairs that they know nothing about.

    Terrible decisions usually result.

    Then there is the issue of profit. Make no mistake, the ultimate goal of every owner is to make money—not win games. However, the best owners realize that the best way to make wads of cash is to put a winning product on the court.

    Jerry Buss and Mark Cuban come to mind. They get it. They aren't afraid to spend a little money to build a winner.

    Not every owner went to the Buss/Cuban school of NBA ownership, though. Here are six teams whose owners simply must go.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    The good news is Glen Taylor, the current owner of the Timberwolves, is looking to sell the team. The bad news is that buyers aren't jumping to purchase a team in the basketball mecca of Minnesota.

    Who knows how long it will take for Taylor to sell? Until that happens, it will likely be more of the same for fans.

    Under his watch, the Timberwolves have struggled to be competitive since they joined the NBA in 1989. They haven't even won a conference championship.

    They had the fortune of drafting a player out of high school that turned out to be one of the most dominating players of the last 20 years—Kevin Garnett—but they failed to build a winner around him.

    To his credit, Taylor is committed to selling the team to someone that will keep it in Minnesota. Fans certainly appreciate that.

    Maybe when that happens, the Timberwolves can take advantage of their young and talented core—Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love—and take the next step towards respectability.

Toronto Raptors

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    I've always hated the name Raptors. It was a blatant attempt to cash in on the success of the movie Jurassic Park. That was a big movie—and also a very good movie—but that was 1993, folks!

    A CGI creation from a nearly decades-old movie should not be the name of your franchise.

    Do Raptors have anything to do with Canada? I don't think so. How about the Toronto Huskies, Parkas or Igloos? Anything would be better.

    Obviously, I blame ownership for the name, but that's not all.

    The Raptors are owned by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. According to ESPN, two Canadian telecommunication giants purchased majority stakes in MLSE in December 2011, and guess which franchise was the key to this deal?

    The one that is the most followed hockey club in Canada with 11 Stanley Cups, or the one that isn't even 20 years old and has only played in a handful of playoff games while watching its best players repeatedly sign elsewhere.

    The Raptors are as relevant as their mascot/logo is.

    It's hard enough to accept that you are the second banana in the minds of your fans, but when you're the second banana to your ownership, there's a problem.

    The Raptors are never going to do anything until they get out from underneath the Maple Leafs' shadow.

Charlotte Bobcats

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    Everyone knows that Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, is currently the majority owner and general manager of the Charlotte Bobcats.

    If I simply said that his team just had the worst season in NBA history, and in response he fired his head coach and hired an assistant coach from St. John's named Mike Dunlap, that might be enough to convince you he deserves to be on this list.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. Jordan might be known for all the winning he did, but in retirement, he's been responsible for a lot of losing.

    Charlotte should have been prepared, Jordan's time with the Washington Wizards was inglorious. Kwame Brown is the biggest bust in No. 1 pick history.

    His draft-mastery continued in Charlotte with Adam Morrison in 2006. Since then, the Bobcats have not drafted any game changers. Kemba Walker was good last season, but the jury is still out whether he can be a franchise point guard.

    The team has also been irrelevant. They've played .500 basketball once in 2009. They made the playoffs that year—their only trip—and were swept in the first round by Orlando.

    The point is Jordan has been unable to transfer his success on the court to success running a team. He's had plenty of chances and he's failed.

    The latest news is that Jordan has given up most of his GM duties. Perhaps this is an indication that he finally gets it. If so, the Bobcats will be better off for it.

Los Angeles Clippers

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    The Los Angeles Clippers are currently a young and exciting team on the rise. They are finally competitive and made the playoffs last season with arguably two of the most popular players in the game, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

    However, their recent success does not change decades of incompetence. Donald Sterling, owner of the Clippers, is the man responsible for that.

    In fact, whatever success the Clippers have, is in spite of Sterling.

    He's been guilty of a laundry list of offenses including being cheap, racistheckling his own star player and dismissing the NBA's greatest fan.

    For fans, the hardest thing to swallow has been Sterling's refusal to pay top-tier players to stay with the Clippers, which has historically resulted in a roster of mid-level talent.

    The problem with Sterling is one of motivation. As long as he's turning a profit, he's okay. In Los Angeles, even playing second fiddle to the Lakers, that's not hard to do.

    For that reason, there's likely no end in sight to Sterling's reign over the Clippers.

Sacramento Kings

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    News Flash: The Maloof Brothers want out of Sacramento. Actually, if you didn't know that, you've probably been living in a van down by a river somewhere.

    It's bad enough for ownership to take a beloved team away from it's fans. The recently deceased Art Modell could certainly attest to that. Who knows if Cleveland fans will ever forgive him?

    The Maloof brothers have taken team relocation to a whole 'nother level.

    They threatened to move to Anaheim. Then they changed their mind and pledged to stay in Sacramento. They even announced plans to build a new arena at the Kings first home game last season. Then they unceremoniously backed out six weeks later.

    It's obvious that they're looking for a way out, and that is the worst possible situation for a team and its fans to be in. How important is winning when you don't even know where you'll be next year?

    It's no surprise that in the current issue of ESPN the magazine, the Maloofs finished last, "by a landslide," in fan voting for owner honesty.

    They've played with the emotions of their fanbase and everyone knows, sports fans are an emotional bunch.

New York Knicks

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    The New York Knicks are one of two marquee franchises in the NBA (the Los Angeles Lakers is the other). It's the most profitable franchise in the NBA and superstar players flock to play there.

    Needless to say, they have the cream of the crop to choose from when free agency rolls around every year.

    Yet James Dolan, owner of the Knicks for nearly 20 years, has driven the team into the ground. During his tenure they've achieved a 455-595 record, five playoff appearances and no championships.

    Knick's fans certainly deserve better.

    Sure, the Knicks improved when the signed Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. They made the playoffs last season. That's not enough to make their rabid fanbase forget about the decade of embarrassment that was the Isiah Thomas era, though.

    Dolan was responsible for letting Thomas run the show and run the proud franchise into the ground.

    But the madness continues. According to CBSsports.com, Dolan met with Thomas just days after the resignation of MSG president Scott O'Neil. Could it be that Dolan is targeting Thomas for that position, or to fill the vacant assistant coach position?

    Only time will tell. For Knicks fans, it's just the latest cringe-worthy moment under Dolan. His franchise- crippling moves have haunted them and from the looks of it, that will only continue.

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