Interesting article on Paul Allen, the Portland Trailblazers owner.
Worth a quick read, good info on some of the duties of an owner. There is one line that I liked in particular.
“I’ve tried to strike a balance as team owner, to be involved and accountable while preserving my executives’ freedom to shape the roster. My job is oversight, not execution,” Allen wrote. “While I sign off on trades or free agents, I’ve rarely overruled my basketball people’s decisions. But I’m not shy about steering the discussion or pushing deeper if something doesn’t make sense to me.”
Oversight is a great description of an owner’s role.
I liken an owner to a CEO of a major company. Their duties are (1) to set the agenda, and, (2) hire people capable of creating + executing plans to achieve that agenda, and finally, (3) monitoring their management’s performance and ensuring that they are doing their jobs in the correct manner and are capable of achieving stated goals.
Things for Owners to Avoid
- Absentee landlord — owner nowhere to be seen or heard from despite dysfunction in the front office
- Wrong or low goals
- Owner states making the playoffs is the priority instead of creating a title contender so a GM creates such a team but the roster is lacking in sustainable development so they hit a ceiling forcing the club to blow up the team and start again.
- Owner decides that making a profit is more important than winning and would rather field a 45 win playoff team than a title contender that is losing cash.
- Over-ruling basketball decision makers — gotta give your GM the authority and autonomy to make basketball related decisions
My Favourite Owners
I was a big admirer of Bill Davidson and how he ran the Pistons for a number of years. Gave his staff the room and capacity to their jobs to the fullest of their abilities. Hired good people and let them do their job.
Also, a big fan of Jerry Buss in LA, his constant desire for a Champion and willingness to take risks and aim for the highest standards have led to consistent excellence over the years.