Unlike the National Hockey League (which has a couple of boldface names from our target markets involved, as well), the National Basketball Association is tipping off its new season this week… well, depending where you live… and peHUB has got the latest predictions for the hoops community. So far, VC and private equity pros’ foray into the bigs has enjoyed mixed success. This year could break the bank for unsuccessful franchises, or, for those contending in the postseason, re-engage fan bases that have been disinterested for years. Investing pros should use their savvy to double down on basketball bets now, while NHL fans have nothing to occupy them through the winter.
Unlike the NFL, peHUB is long Philly this hoops season. Sure, they’ve got former LA sad-panda Andrew Bynum—but his youth in tandem with Jrue Holiday could take this squad deep into the postseason, or at least as deep as the Miami Heat will allow them to go. Philly may wind up seeded in the top half of 2013’s playoffs, making PE pros Joshua Harris, of Apollo Global Management, and David Blitzer, of Blackstone Group. look like savvy managers not only in the boardroom, but in the front office as well.
Prediction: Bynum’s injury is bad news, don’t expect the 6ers to repeat last year’s magic without him.
Image Credit: 76ers
[slide title=”Boston Celtics”]
Can this aging squad of superstars get the job done in 2012-13? Judging by their early outing against the Miami LeBrons, this franchise isn’t just losing its cool, it’s already on the way to a disappointment compared to last year’s impressive postseason run. The outsized Darko Miličić won’t make up for Shaq’s absence. Bain Capital (and Democrat!!!) Stephen Pagliuca and his band of PE & VC pros that make up the Celts’ ownership group might be looking to sell, if this investment continues to lose its shine.
Prediction: Punching the playoff ticket, but not a whole lot after that. Mr. Shuttlesworth had the right idea.
Image Credit: Boston Celtics
[slide title=”Memphis Grizzlies”]
The Grizz only made the list thanks to last week’s sale to Robert J. Pera, CEO of Ubiquiti Networks Inc. Jerryd Bayless is a big addition that ought to provide the team the support it needs in multiple places. Potentially the biggest thing going against the Grizz (no different than the woebegotten T-Wolves up north) is the fact that they’re a small market team in a league with a proclivity for approving mega-market trades to unite superstars and boost TV ad sales.
Prediction: The Grizz have the talent to turn it around, so expect a playoff run after a dismal end to the ’12 season
*Connection to our readership? Venture Alpha keynote speaker Bill Gurley joined Ubiquiti’s board earlier this year.
Image Credit: Memphis Grizzlies
[slide title=”Golden State Warriors”]
Things are looking up for the Golden State Warriors in 2012-13. However, that’s because they couldn’t get a whole lot worse. KPCB veteran and Warriors’ majority owner Joe Lacob was unceremoniously booed last year during Warrior legend Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement at the end of last season after trading hometown fave Monta Ellis. Now, Stephen Curry has to produce. Otherwise, that chorus from the upper deck will only get louder.
Prediction: Punching the playoff ticket—but Lacob will need to staff up, big time, to be competitive out west. Watching Curry will be a blast.
Image Credit: Golden State Warriors
[slide title=”Detroit Pistons”]
Platinum Equity pro and PE baller Tom Gores gets to hang out with the likes of Kid Rock at his new investment’s arena (which, is dilapidated, and ought to be replaced). No word on whether the LPs also get a chunk of the courtside-carry. A self-described “now person,” the Platinum Gores ought to employ a little more patience waiting for this year’s franchise (and next year’s draft pick) to unfold.
Prediction: This team is going to require a big capital infusion to compete with the Bulls. That much, Gores has got. But the Motor City shouldn’t expect a playoff run in 2013.
Image Credit: Detroit Pistons
Image Credit: NBA.com