Grant Hill is one of the greatest examples of a phenomenal player whose career was massively altered by injury. Hill still had an excellent NBA career but it could have been so much more.
Does Grant Hill own the Atlanta Hawks? Grant Hill is a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks having been part of the group led by Anthony Ressler that purchased the Hawks in April 2015.
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Grant Hill is one of the players who could have been spectacular in the NBA. He was rookie of the year and became a star for the Detroit Pistons in the 1990s. If it was not for an ankle injury in 2000, he could have been an excellent player and possibly progressed to MVP level.
Sadly for Hill, that never happened. But he still amassed over $100 million in career earnings and has since made some very smart investments. One of the major ones was being part of the group that purchased the Atlanta Hawks in 2015.
In 2004, American businessman Bruce Levenson was the majority partner of the group who bought the Atlanta Hawks. The team had little success over his time as owner and in late 2014 it was announced that Levenson planned to sell his share of the ownership due to offensive emails about the Hawks’ African American fan base.
Despite the Hawks not being one of the premier teams in the league, there was still a huge amount of interest in the team being purchased. After a few different bids, a group led by Tony Ressler agreed to purchase the team. Tony Ressler is not necessarily a name NBA fans will have heard of before this.
Ressler was the co-founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management alongside Leon Black. The company became successful and he eventually founded Ares Management which grew into a hugely successful company. This is not Ressler’s first investment into sports, being part of the investment group that purchased the Milwaukee Brewers of the MLB.
In 2015, Ressler was looking to expand his investments into sports. Grant Hill joined Tony Ressler in the bid to buy the Atlanta Hawks. The agreement for the sale of the team was estimated to be worth around $850 million but the exact value also includes debt on Philips Arena.
Grant Hill’s investment is not necessarily known as he has not revealed his total stake in the Hawks. He does say that Ressler treats him as a partner instead of an investor. One of the reasons for this is Hill took up a senior role in the team when the purchase was made.
As well as becoming a co-owner of the team, Hill also became Vice Chair of the Board of the Atlanta Hawks, with Ressler being the Chair of the Board of Directors. It is an investment which has gone well, with the Hawks being valued at around $1.6 billion now, twice the amount Ressler and Hill paid for in 2015.
Hill was not the only notable member of the group that purchased the team. Sara Blakely and her husband Jesse Itzler were also part of the group that purchased the team, the pair being entrepreneurs and business people. American businessmen Steven Price and Rick Schnall were also part of the group.
This was not the first time that Grant Hill was involved in a bid to buy an NBA team. A year before the Hawks were on the market, the Los Angeles Clippers were looking for an owner after former owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life due to racist comments being made public.
Hill was part of a group of investors that put in a $1.2 billion bid for the Los Angeles Clippers. However, this bid was not able to compete with the $2 billion bid that former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer put in which was successful.
How is Grant Hill so Rich?
Grant Hill had a hall of fame NBA career where he amassed over $100 million in career earnings. During his career, Hill was concerned about taking care of his money. His father was former Dallas Cowboys football player Calvin Hill, so Grant saw some of his fathers teammates go bankrupt through not taking care of their earnings.
So during his career, Hill made smart financial decisions, beginning by not hiring a sports agent when he was drafted, instead negotiating contracts himself. It was a risky move and eventually he used future Phoenix Suns president Lon Babby to negotiate for him, although Babby charged an hourly rate instead of taking a percentage of Hill’s earnings.
Babby started to become more influential in Hill’s life and eventually started to organise deals with large brands such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Even long after his NBA career finished, Hill is still signing sponsorship deals including a lifetime deal with sports apparel company Fila in 2018.
While these endorsements will have helped to expand his wealth, most of his larger investments and sources of income are real estate. It was Grant Hill’s parents who got him interested in real estate and made his first investment in 2000 while with the Orlando Magic.
Since then, Hill has developed a varied and diverse real estate portfolio. All of these investments are made through Hill Ventures, the marketing and management company that Grant Hill set up shortly after he entered the NBA. The company now has a huge range of real estate investments that are worth billions of dollars.
His latest venture is a joint project with CIM Group to invest in Centennial Yards which is a $5 billion mixed use development in Atlanta. It is hardly surprising that Hill is getting more involved in the city of Atlanta.
Hill has made a considerable profit on the investment he made when he was part of the group that purchased the Atlanta Hawks in 2015. His investment is now worth double what it was at purchase. Hill also collects Black art pieces which have increased in value since he first began purchasing them in the 1990s.