The 15 Worst Owners In NFL, MLB and NBA
Who are the worst owners in the NFL, NBA and MLB?
If this was an article for a business magazine, none of the individuals in this list would have to worry about any negative criticism. The idea that anyone would be able to accumulate enough wealth to become the majority owner of a professional sports franchise is almost an idea too big for the average mind to imagine. Unfortunately for these business magnates, the NFL, MLB and NBA do not always reward business acumen alone, and many of these owners have been considered failures when it comes to leading their franchises.
There is a wide array of reasons for an owner to be considered a failure with their franchise, but at the very core, success and failure is determined by the product on the field. Regardless of how much input an owner has on the day-to-day operations of a sports franchise, the criticism or praise will usually fall squarely on the owner's shoulders.
Some owners are prone to shooting their franchises in the foot by spending large sums of money on risky free agent signings that don't end up performing to their high expectations, while others are too reluctant to open their wallets at all even if it would be a move to improve a terrible team. Owners are in a constant struggle with trying to make moves that make the most fiscal sense while trying to build a winning team. Naturally, some owners will be better at walking that tightrope than others.
While owners like Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks and the Rooney Family that owns the Pittsburgh Steelers have built teams that are always competitive, there are many other owners who own teams that generally never are. With those unsuccessful teams in mind, here is my list of the 15 worst owners in the NFL, NBA and MLB.
15. The Monfort Brothers -- Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies have had just seven winning seasons over the course of the last 21 seasons. Charlie Monfort has been involved with the franchise since 1992, so he has been with the franchise through their struggles. Charlie's brother Richard Monfort is the current chairman and CEO of the Rockies. The Rockies have only made three postseason appearances in the history of the franchise.
14. Marc Davis -- Oakland Raiders
Marc Davis has not been the owner of a team for very long, and he inherited a dreadful situation from his father Al Davis after he passed. However, but the Raiders were fresh off of two consecutive 8-8 seasons. Since the younger Davis took the helm with GM Reggie McKenzie, the Raiders fired coach Hue Jackson in favor of Dennis Allen. Allen has gone 4-12 in two consecutive seasons. It's still early in his tenure, but Marc Davis is not looking too great in his new role.
13. Ralph Wilson -- Buffalo Bills
It's tough to criticize a man who has done so many great things for the NFL, but the fact remains that the Buffalo Bills have the longest playoff drought in the league, and it doesn't appear to be getting better anytime soon.
12. Jim Crane -- Houston Astros
The Houston Astros have lost 100 or more games in three consecutive seasons, but Jim Crane falls under the "reluctant to spend money" category. Crane hopes that fans will buy into the idea that the Astros have a bright future in their farm system. The Astros have the lowest payroll in baseball, and it's no coincidence that they are also the worst team as well.
11. Jerry Jones -- Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Jones has won three Super Bowl rings as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, but his recent moves have made many people question his competency as an owner. The Cowboys have won only one playoff game in 17 years, but Jones has refused to relinquish control in all of the Cowboys' personnel decisions. Jones has had success in the NFL, but his ego has seemingly ended any chance of either he or the Cowboys experiencing any more success.
10. Daniel Snyder -- Washington Redskins
Daniel Snyder is very similar to Jerry Jones, but the Washington Redskins have not won any Super Bowls under Snyder's direction. The Redskins have acquired aging free agent after aging free agent, and have only appeared in the playoffs four times since Snyder took over in 1999. Even worse, the Redskins have just hired Jay Gruden as their eighth coach since Snyder took over as well.
9. Michael Jordan -- Charlotte Bobcats
Michael Jordan bought an expansion team, so it is understandable that the Charlotte Bobcats would lose a lot of games. However, the team made the playoffs in 2010. Jordan then blew the team up, and Charlotte ended up having the worst winning percentage in NBA history during the 2011-12 season. There is also the fact that Jordan seems insistent on proving to his players that he his still a better player than they are during practices.
8. Thomas S. Ricketts -- Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs want to renovate Wrigley Field for $150 million, but the team has more than 90 games in three of the past four seasons. Tom Ricketts has threatened to yank the Cubs out of Wrigley Field if the city of Chicago blocks his renovation plans. Now, I seriously doubt the Cubs would ever play baseball in another park, but the threats make Ricketts seem like a jerk, and his team is terrible to top it all off.
7. Dan Gilbert -- Cleveland Cavaliers
Who could forget the way Dan Gilbert reacted when LeBron James announced that he was taking his talents to South Beach? I don't blame Gilbert, but he did promise that the Cavaliers would win a title long before LeBron would, and the Miami Heat is coming off back-to-back championships. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, have been one of the laughingstocks of the NBA since King James departed.
6. James L. Dolan -- New York Knicks
The Madison Square Garden Company has owned the New York Knicks since 1997, and James L. Dolan serves as the chairman. Unfortunately, since the Madison Square Garden Company took over, the Knicks have been terrible and Dolan receives much of the blame. The current Knicks roster and their dismal performance this season tells the whole story.
5. Jimmy Haslam -- Cleveland Browns
Jimmy Haslam's business outside of football is failing, and so are the Cleveland Browns. Haslam serves as CEO of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain that currently is in about $4 billion worth of debt, and the Browns are once again searching for a new coach after a 4-12 season.
4. Donald Sterling -- Los Angeles Clippers
Donald Sterling should thank David Stern for preventing him from earning the unenviable top spot on this list. Had it not been for Stern's intervention, Chris Paul would be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Clippers would likely still be the most useless franchise in the NBA. Of course, Donald Sterling is to blame for how bad the Clippers have been over the years.
3. Herb Kohl -- Milwaukee Bucks
Herb Kohl is a former senator and the current owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. Kohl has managed to keep a pretty low profile within the sports world, but the Bucks have not been a serious contender in a very long time. Milwaukee is terrible right now, and Kohl wants a new stadium for the team. Talk about terrible timing.
2. Shahid Khan -- Jacksonville Jaguars
Shahid Khan is a Pakistani-born American billionaire, so I'm sure he's not accustomed to being associated with anything negative, but his NFL franchise ownership is a different story. Khan made this list because of how bad the Jacksonville Jaguars have been over the past few years. The Jaguars have not had a winning record since 2007.
1. Jeffrey Loria -- Miami Marlins
Jeffrey Loria might very well be the most hated owner in all of sports. He moved the Marlins to a new stadium, then almost immediately dumped all of his top talent in a puzzling move. Loria has been called greedy, and his move to Miami has been seen as a way to show off his art collection at the baseball stadium. The list of reasons why Loria is one of the worst owners in sports could be a standalone subject with too many offenses to list here.
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