In light of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s emotional plead with NBA commissioner David Stern via email to put a halt to the 3 team Chris Paul trade last week, it got me thinking of who would top the dubious list of professional sports worst owners.
Dan last summer in an angry, rebellious rant, lambasted Lebron James for not only leaving his hometown Cavs, but in the fashion in which he did it. While it galvanized the Cleveland metropolitan area from Shaker Heights to Berea, outside of the Lake Erie region it did little to help his team or his image. In fact the way he handled the entire situation will not help him going forward when pursuing free agents to come to Cleveland.
What agent in their right mind will send a player to Cleveland? And do not get it twisted, there are 5-7 super agents, just like the major banks in our country, that dictate where star players play. And with his bitter comments towards Lebron that reeked of entitlement, now on the heels of him shutting a down a trade that involved several high profile players, Cleveland, a city that has never been known as a destination anyway, will surely drift into NBA abyss.
At least he has those compound loans and fatheads to get him through the dark days that surely are ahead.
Remember they are numbered but not ranked. Each one of these owners has made catastrophic errors in judgment that defy ranking.
To the list:
1. Donald Sterling – Los Angeles Clippers
He is the single worst owner in all of sports. He is Khadafi in a turtleneck. He makes Bengals owner Mike Brown look like Steve Jobs (RIP). The worst teams in every other sport are always compared to the Clippers.
He is the only owner I have seen listen to the fans less than Bob Arum. Is there any doubt the Donald’s entire film library is made up of snuff films and the directors cut of all the Saw movies. He is a mean, mean man.
But not only has he struggled on the court as the embodiment of futility, he has publicly berated his own players, once shouting at Baron Davis how fat he was, and allegedly bringing people into the locker room after games to have friends stare and admire at “the black players athletic bodies.” Not only is he incompetent, he is creep. A combination that will not lead to much success no matter how talented Blake Griffin is.
Dear Clipper fans, you are a different bunch. Your thirst for pain is astonishing. You are the type of people that make Jackass movies at home for free. Holocaust survivors are amazed with your perseverance. They hold telethons in Cambodia raising money for you! Why? That is all I want to know. All these years of putrid seasons followed up by incompetent decision after decision.
I used to pity you, but now I just look at my television and laugh and point at you like a rare zoo animal. Look there go Clipper fans getting ready to be heart broken again. I get the whole argument of Laker games are too expensive yada yada, but If you have season tickets to the should be Orange County Clippers, guess what? You reap what you sew Clipper fans, and the fact any of you pay hard earned American currency for that product, well you deserve it.
2. Dan Gilbert – Cleveland Cavaliers
His passion and fortitude have served him very well in the private sector. But his emotional outburst will do him no favors with prospective free agents in the future. Relax Dan; you are a billionaire, one of an elite fraternity of people wealthy enough to own a sports franchise. Smile and enjoy it a little.
3. Art Modell – Baltimore Ravens
What a snake. He is the only man more hated in Cleveland than Lebron James. He’s the type of guy that divorces his wife over a text. How do you move an entire franchise to another city in the middle of the night? I don’t care what he ever accomplishes in Baltimore, he will never have the respect he craves (not that he cares apparently) and he will never be Avon Barksdale.
4. William Clay Ford – Detroit Lions
This guy is literally one the biggest losers in all of professional sports. In the nearly 60 years he has owned the Detroit Lions they have been stuck in a morass of mediocrity. They have never sniffed a Super Bowl and employed the worst General Manager in NFL history, Matt Millen for 6 years. Under his watch the Lions completed the first 0-16 season. And worst of all he almost ran one of America’s greatest companies, that bears his last name, into the ground.
I organized an exorcism for my nephew when he was five years old to get all the Lions fan out of his spirit so he wouldn’t be stuck spending 16 Sundays a year, the rest of his life starring at his television in utter disbelief as the Lions snatched victory from the jaws of defeat yet again.
Team Record While Owner: 289-414
5. Daniel Snyder – Washington Redskins
A poor mans Jerry Jones. He is every bit as annoying, yet he doesn’t have the Super Bowl rings to justify his meddling. He has foolishly thrown more money around than Pacman Jones at stripper Bar Mitzvah. Every off-season is filled the Redskins overpaying for other teams malcontent veterans, yet yielding the same disappointing results on the field. He simply doesn’t understand how to build a successful sports franchise is not by out bidding himself (in many cases) for past their prime players.
He could be the worst decision maker in the entire metropolitan DC area. Let that sink in for a second. His hiring and firing of coaches is nothing short of amazing. He could be the worst owner since G. W. Bush bankrupted the Texas Rangers. The only difference being of course is Snyder owns a brand in the Redskins that is borderline unbreakable. He is however putting that to the test with each passing season.
7. Jerry Reinsdorf -Chicago Bulls
When you hit the megaball lottery and spend it all on bottle caps and dungeons and dragon figurines well…. this guy had Michael Jordan in his prime. The greatest of all time, shoe selling, tongue wagging, pre Hitler mustache having, shooting guard to ever live and because he couldn’t get along with Phil Jackson he broke the team up.
Look I realize everyone has an ego, and his general manager at the time Jerry Krause was making infamous statements like “Front offices build championships…” ask yourself this, how close have they come since they let Phil and company go? And Phil won how many more rings again in Los Angeles?
Yes there are times that ownership has to put their foot down, but if you do not make concessions for MJ, then who in the hell will you ever make them for? I would have held that team together with scotch tape if I had to, and ridden MJ and Phil’s curtails to a couple more rings if possible.
I do realize that Jerry still has 6 NBA trophies (and one MLB title) but just let me ask you this: how many times to get the greatest player in league history on on your team? You never realize how good it is till it’s gone.
8. Jerry Jones – Dallas Cowboys
Face lifts aside, I was torn whether or not to have him on this list. Because on one hand he provides his franchise with all the money and facilities they need to compete at the highest level. And lets not forget the Cowboys have won 3 Super Bowls under his watch, with two different coaches I might add.
But how many more rings did his ego cost him? Who in the hell fires Jimmy Johnson after he builds a dynasty? Ever since he wanted the credit he so eagerly thought he deserved, his franchise has been stuck in 9-7 ville, because no one worth a damn will want to coach his team with Jerry constantly looking over their shoulder.
9. Frank McCourt — Los Angeles Dodgers
What a disaster this guy has been. Who said Aaron Spelling is dead? This entire fiasco is straight out of Falcons crest. Frank McCourt has been going through one of the worst break ups in Hollywood history, and that obviously is one hell of a statement.
Not only did he completely inflate his personal wealth, he broke the cardinal Man Law and allowed his messy divorce to spill over into his team’s affairs so much that Major League Baseball had to take them over so the team wouldn’t become insolvent. If for some reason you have not followed this closely please click here and laugh.
10. Jeffrey Loria – Florida Marlins
This guy basically killed baseball (and one of the best hats in the MLB history) in Montreal, only to be rewarded with the Florida Marlins. He runs his team like Donald Trump runs a start up businesses. He milks them dry, to mixed results, then files bankruptcy.
This off-season he is back on a spending spree but give him a couple of seasons all of the assets he acquires will be future Yankees and Red Sox when he has roster fire sale in 2014.
How can fans in Miami ever grow attached to players or the team when you have an owner that is complete devoid loyalty?
11. James Dolan – New York Knicks
There is no bigger Isiah Thomas fan on earth than yours truly. Hell, I do top 11 lists instead of top tens in his Zekeness honor. But what in the holy hell was James Dolan doing letting Isiah spend millions on players like a washed up Steve Francis, A pregnant Eddie Curry and a never relevant Jerome James, coming off a season in which he averaged 5 points and 3 rebounds. Zeke the player is an all time great. Zeke the GM is all time failure. And Dolan was an enabler to it all.
He makes the mistake many of these billionaire owners do and think that the more they pay the better results they will get. If you overpay a person that is out of shape and doesn’t get back on defense a lot of money, what in the hell makes you think they suddenly develop a Charles Oakley type work ethic? The Knicks franchise alone is one reason why owners and many fans have come to hate guaranteed contracts.
Whatever success the Knicks have going forward will be completely in spite of their moronic owner.
Marge Schott (Lifetime member)
When you google white trash her photo appears. She is the epitome of classless. Trailer park West Virginians look down their noses at her. But some of that she simply couldn’t help. The fact that she made horrific racist comments about African American and Latino players shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that has been to her hometown of Norwood, Ohio. And I am sure other owners in the past and even currently share similar perspectives as she does. But the fact she uttered those hideous statements and was confused about the uproar speaks to a totally different alarming level of ignorance and racism. She will forever have a place in the worst sports owners Hall of Fame.
Michael Jordan just missed the list, only due to lack of time on the job. But give him a couple of years and at the rate he is going I am sure MJ will be here. Also it was tough to leave off Bob Nutting (should be nothing), for holding the wonderful fans of Pittsburgh hostage with his rudderless reign as the Pirates owner.
It is hard to narrow down such a dubious list just to 11, so tell me whom did I miss?
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