On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including the surprise NBA Finals showdown between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks. After a decade of NBA Finals that featured either Steph Curry or LeBron James (or both!), the NBA is facing a championship that lacks star power, particularly if Giannis Antetokounmpo is unable to play.
One piece of Finals trivia: The owners of both the Suns and Bucks set NBA records for acquisition price when they bought their teams. Robert Sarver’s $401 million purchase of the Suns in 2004 was a then-NBA record, as was the $550 million that a group led by Wes Edens and Marc Lasry paid for the Bucks in 2014. Both teams are now worth more than $1.6 billion, according to Sportico’s valuations.
The hosts also discuss the start of the NIL Era in college sports, as NCAA athletes across the country begin to flex their new-found financial freedom. They also discuss U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s failed drug test, which has put her Olympics participation in doubt, and yet another transaction in the world of sports memorabilia and collectibles.