Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are now the new majority owners of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Will Smith is going back to his roots. The Academy-Award nominated actor along with his wife, Jada, have become majority owners of the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to reports, a press conference was held in which Men In Black star was introduced alongside his wife as the new majority owners of the beloved NBA team, replacing the minority-interest owner and multi-billionaire Joshua Harris.
Harris was the majority owner of the 76ers since October 2011. The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania graduate once led a group of investors in the purchase and with the exception of Will Smith’s and Harris’ equity, no other structural changes were announced.
The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the transfer of majority stake over to the Smith family. In a brief statement, Harris thanked Will Smith and his family for leading the franchise into the future.
“My partners and I are thrilled to have an opportunity to be led by such a warm and wonderful Hollywood couple as Will and Jada, who are now majority owners of the Sixers. It is at this critical time that the team is at a perilous crossroads, and requires an ownership leader who is somewhat insulated from the constant tugs and pulls of the Philadelphia community as we navigate construction of a true championship caliber team.”
The Smiths responded by saying there were was a lot of work ahead for the franchise.
“It is an honor to become part of this storied franchise. We have a lot of work to do, but we have a rich history, a strong foundation and a bright future. We want to personally thank Joshua Harris for his strong leadership, for turning over an NBA franchise which is just now stepping through the door into a new and winning era, and for giving the city of Philadelphia a fairytale success story which will unfold before their very eyes. We are honored to continue this pursuit of excellence, not just for the championships that await this team, but for the wonderful city of Philadelphia – a city long overlooked for its contributions to professional sports.“
The team was originally purchased by Harris’ group for an estimated $280 million, with a now estimated value of $700 million. According to Vibe magazine, Will Smith’s family exchanged $250 million for the majority ownership of the basketball team.