Team Owner Edition: Donald Sterling vs. Paul Allen
- Net worthLos Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling may have started out as an attorney, but he rose to prominence as a real estate magnate (he was the purchaser of the Sterling International Towers in Los Angeles). Today, Sterling’s estimated net worth is around $1.9 billion. That kind of cash will purchase more than a few cars for your alleged mistress, but doesn’t even come close to…Paul Allen. The Microsoft co-founder -- and owner of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and NBA's Portland Trail Blazers -- is worth an estimated $15 billion. In addition to owning a team in both the NFL and the NBA, Allen is part-owner of the Seattle Sounders FC. Honestly, this category isn’t even close.
- Team RecordYou can “talk the talk” as a professional sports franchise owner, but at the end of the day, your billions of dollars aren’t going to keep you warm. What will keep you warm? If you’re thinking that family and friends will cut it, you’re also wrong. The answer is trophies -- lots and lots of trophies. Unfortunately, ever since Sterling took ownership in 1981, the LA Clippers have never won an NBA Championship title.Since Allen took ownership in 1988, the Portland Trail Blazers have had 19 playoff appearances and have gone to the NBA Championship Finals twice. Allen’s other team, the Seattle Seahawks, made a Super Bowl appearance in 2006 and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A new roster headed by quarterback Russell Wilson brought home the Lombardi Trophy to cap off the 2014 season, where the Seahawks dominated the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
- Racist Outbursts & Public Relations NightmaresDonald Sterling made headlines in April of 2014 after being recorded making a series of racist comments about African Americans and former NBA players. Sterling later turned what was probably supposed to be a public apology into a public relations nightmare: During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Sterling faulted his then-girlfriend, V. Stiviano, for much of his racist outburst and called former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson a “bad influence” on children for his HIV-positive status.Paul Allen has denounced the statements made by Donald Sterling, going so far as to release a statement reading: “the kind of statements attributed to Clippers owner Donald Sterling, if true, are abhorrent, and not acceptable for the owner of an NBA franchise or anyone in professional sports.” Keep it classy, Paul.
- Athlete FriendsSterling makes Redskins owner Dan Synder look like Mother Theresa and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones look like Ghandi. Not only did the Clippers players hold a silent protest against their owner, other NBA teams did too.By all accounts, Allen has remained publicly supportive of the players on his teams. Just this week he tweeted how honored he was to have Doug Baldwin back on his team
Seattle's Paul Allen has a bigger net worth, stronger overall record (including a Lombardi trophy) and displays constant public support for his players. When it comes to being a better all-around team owner, Allen takes home the gold here.