Tag Archives: NBA

Sport team owners & how it is not always a business.

This piece over at Grantland is an interesting look at sports ownership in general and how it relates to the current NBA lockout that is going on.  How you have two kinds of owners, one who look at sports teams as a business and the second, owners who look at their teams as getting enjoyment from simply owning a sports team.

[Tom] Yawkey [Red Sox’s Owner 1930’s-70’s] was not just a racist, in other words. He was a racist who put his hatred of black people ahead of his desire to make money. Economists have a special term they use to describe this kind of attitude. They would say that Yawkey owned the Red Sox not to maximize his financial benefits, but, rather, his psychic benefits. Psychic benefits describe the pleasure that someone gets from owning something — over and above economic returns — and clearly some part of the pleasure Yawkey got from the Red Sox came from not having to look at black people when he walked through the Fenway Park dugout. In discussions of pro sports, the role of psychic benefits doesn’t get a lot of attention. But it should, because it is the key to understanding all kinds of behavior by sports owners — most recently the peculiar position taken by management in the NBA labor dispute.

In discussions of pro sports, the role of psychic benefits doesn’t get a lot of attention. But it should, because it is the key to understanding all kinds of behavior by sports owners — most recently the peculiar position taken by management in the NBA labor dispute.

via Malcolm Gladwell on the NBA lockout – Grantland.