Will Smith Becomes Minority Owner


American music and movie star,Will Smith, a Philadelphia native and wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, are officially minority shareholders of the 76ers NBA team in a deal that was confirmed by the league over the weekend.

The “Men In Black” star and his wife are part of an ownership group that includes a former NBA executive, leveraged buyout specialist Josh Harris and an Indonesian media magnate, according to the league’s website.

The group takes ownership from Comcast-Spectator, which, led by chairman Ed Snider, purchased the team in 1996.

“This is one of the hardest business decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Snider said in a statement. “The Sixers are family, and it is very difficult to say goodbye to an organization of great people with whom we have worked so closely over the last 15 years.”

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Forbes magazine valued the team at $330 million this year – which is 17th in the league. The Philadelphia Daily News reported that the new owners paid about $280 million.

The Smiths join rappers Jay-Z, Nelly and Usher as entertainers-turned-part NBA owners with the investment.

Smith was rumored to be part of a group interested in purchasing the group as far back as 2006, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. That group was assembled by Julius Erving.

—Bamidele Olowosegba

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