Dan Gilbert gained the most money ‘by far’ on updated list of richest sports owners

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Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has vaulted into the third spot in Forbes magazine’s rankings of the richest owners in sports.

Forbes‘ Sergei Klebnikov noted that Gilbert’s wealth increased an astounding 699 percent, largely because his business Rocket Companies commenced selling stock last year.

“The biggest gainer on the list this year—in both dollar and percentage terms—is, by far, Dan Gilbert, the billionaire mortgage tycoon and owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers,” Klebnikov wrote. “He’s worth an estimated $51.9 billion, a nearly 700% increase from last year thanks to the company he cofounded in 1985, Quicken Loans. Now the largest mortgage lender in the United States, Quicken went public as Rocket Companies at a massive $36 billion valuation in August 2020, catapulting Gilbert up the ranks of the world’s richest billionaires.”

The only other NBA owner who stands above Gilbert is the Los Angeles Clippers’ Steve Ballmer, who made the bulk of his money while with Microsoft.

While Gilbert has seen a great surge in his personal income, his personal health and the continued woes of the Cavaliers have served as major struggles.

Two years ago, Gilbert suffered a major stroke and has largely been absent from public view over that period of time. Meanwhile, the Cavs have struggled to improve after the departure of LeBron James in 2018.

Many sports teams can struggle because of an owner’s limited funds, but that’s obviously not the case when it comes to Gilbert.

Whether or not the Cavaliers can entice any key free agents in the near future may depend on how well the team is doing, since it’s obvious that Gilbert has the money available to make a serious bid.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.