Michael Rubin has been a central figure around the NBA over the past several years despite owning a small minority of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Rubin’s relationship with NBA players and other celebrities in the Philadelphia region has been known for some time now. The Fanatics CEO recognized that it could be a conflict of interest, especially with the company now expanding to the sports betting and player partnership markets.
It’s in this that Rubin sold his 10% stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Philadelphia 76ers, to Campus Apartments CEO David Adelman. Rubin had announced his plan to sell this stake during the summer.
It’s not yet known how much the sale was for. But Forbes values the 76ers at $2.4 billion, an 800% increase from a decade ago. Needless to say, this sale probably went for north of a quarter billion.
Back in July, Adelman joined the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment as the group lobbies for a new downtown real estate project that would include a privately funded $1.3 billion arena for the team.
“It’s going to happen because we have a great plan, a great design, and a great location. We’re not taking city money, and we’re going to help revitalize a part of the city that could use a shot in the arm.”New Philadelphia 76ers minority owner David Adelman
This should not be too much of an issue giving that there would be no public funding. The Golden State Warriors did just that with their new arena in San Francisco a few years back. That is to say, not relying on public funds.
Related: Philadelphia 76ers standing in Sportsnaut’s NBA power rankings
Michael Rubin’s tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers ends with a thud
When Rubin bought his minority stake in the 76ers back in October of 2011, the goal was to field a championship contender. That pre-dated the “trust the process” era under then-general manager Sam Hinkie. Since then, Philadelphia has not made it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals despite earning a plaayoff appearance in each of the past five seasons.
This past season saw Philadelphia eliminated by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals months after acquiring James Harden in a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets. Rubin took a lot of heat for the trade given his close relationship with Harden. He also took responsibility for the 76ers’ playoff struggles once the report of him selling his stake of the organization became public record.
“You have a massive responsibility to your city to win championships. Every time you don’t win a championship, you fail. While I was there, we didn’t deliver for the City of Philadelphia, and I put myself as partially responsible for that.”Michael Rubin after sale of the Philadelphia 76ers
As for Rubin’s other ventures, he also sold his stake in the NHL’s New Jersey Devils as he looks to divest from all of his relationships with professional sports teams en route to growing the Fanatics brand. Fanatics is currently the world’s leading provider of licensed sports merchandise.
Rubin noted recently that Fantatics earned about $4 billion in revenue for the 2021 fiscal year, an increase of 30% from the previous cycle. The brand continues to grow at a high rate and played a role in providing Personal Protective Equipment during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.