In the past decade, Golden State Warriors saw an astounding increment in their worth, from a $450 million team at the start of the decade to becoming a team that’s worth $5.21 billion at its end. Throughout the last ten years, co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya narrates his experience behind the transformation.
On Sunday, Sportico released their 2021 NBA Franchise Valuation, ranking all 30 of the NBA teams based on their current value. Topping the chart are New York Knicks at $5.42 billion, followed closely by the Warriors at $5.21 billion.
With the list being made public on social media platforms, venture capitalist, CEO of Social Capital, and a former senior executive at Facebook Chamath Palihapitiya, who invested in the team back in 2011, took to Twitter to share how he became associated with the team.
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“Crazy how life works sometimes”, says Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya
Palihapitiya left Facebook ten years back to start his own venture capital firm and after a push from fellow venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel to invest in himself, he decided to invest in sports- picking basketball in particular. He and his fund manager decided to invest in an NBA team, but their primary pick was not the Warriors.
Palihapitiya primarily had his eye on Sacramento Kings and wanted to shift them to either Seattle or Las Vegas. Unfortunately, their proposal of less than $300 million and the idea of shifting the franchise was not favored by former league commissioner David Stern.
However, it was Palihapitiya’s friend and professional poker player Phil Hellmuth who suggested Golden State Warriors, that too, over some pizza. With a nod from his buddy, Hellmuth sold 10% of Warriors to Palihapitiya for $25 million, who, at 34 years of age, was overwhelmed as the co-owner of an NBA franchise.
Now after ten years, GSW has become a franchise worth over $5 billion and looking at Palihapitiya’s own words, the journey has given him “so much joy and happiness,” crediting Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob behind the transformation.
“Joe’s obviously done an amazing job building the best franchise in sports and I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to be along for the ride.”
“And it all started because Peter Thiel pushed me to invest more in myself, David Stern deflated my dreams of diversification and Phil Hellmuth was just a good friend who wanted to cheer me up. Crazy how life works sometimes,” Palihapitiya concluded his experience. Read the entire Twitter thread here.