CRAZY BILLIONAIRES: The Most Eccentric Owners In Sports

dallas mavericks owner mark cuban

Photo: AP

Al Davis was the ultimate eccentric owner.He fired coaches at will. He wore funny sweatsuits. He made up his own catchphrases. And he constantly poked a stick in the eye of the league office.

Now that he has passed away, it’s time for a new generation of crazy owners to step up.

We complain about them. We call them cocky.

But at the end of the day, these nutty billionaires are some of our favourite people in sports.

Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks

Cuban is known for working out with his team, yelling at refs, and doing all sorts of things that get him in trouble with the league office.

But there's obviously a method to his madness -- the Mavs have been the one of the NBA's most consistent franchises since he bought them in 2000.

Mikhail Prokhorov, New Jersey Nets

Bill Simmons nicknamed him 'Mutant Russian Mark Cuban.'

But the more we hear about Prokorhov, the more we realise that he puts Cubes to shame.

He takes 60 Minutes reporters to lady-filled VIP sections at clubs.

He has any many toys as the rest of the Russian oligarchs.

And he doesn't own a mobile phone.

Roman Abramovich, Chelsea FC

We know Abramovich loves superyachts and beautiful women, but also a big soccer fan as owner of one of the world's biggest clubs -- Chelsea.

The oligarch has already lost an estimated $1 billion of his $8 billion fortune on the club. For him, it's not a business, it's a (super expensive) toy.

Donald Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers

Most of the owners on this list are harmless eccentrics.

But Sterling, allegedly, is more sinister.

His greatest hits include: heckling one of his own players for being fat during a game, bringing women into the Clippers locker room to look at naked players after games, and losing $2.725 million in a housing discrimination lawsuit.

Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins

Snyder has been a diehard Redskins fan since he was a little boy.

And it shows.

He runs the team with the impulsiveness of the a fan -- overpaying for overhyped players rather than building from the ground up.

Still, he's turned the Redskins into the second-most valuable franchise in the NFL.

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones is essentially Al Davis-lite.

He trolls the sidelines and makes player personnel decisions that probably ought to be made by professionals.

He also embodies the Cowboys the same way Davis embodied the Raiders.

Silvio Berlusconi, AC Milan

Berlusconi has the rare distinction of being both a crazy prime minister and a crazy sports owner.

Berlusconi owns part of the Italian giants AC Milan.

For evidence of his craziness, simply Google 'Berlusconi.'

Dan Gilbert, Cleveland Cavaliers

The Comic Sans screed against LeBron that Gilbert published on the night of The Decision will go down as one of the more bizarre decisions ever made by a sports owner.

Gilbert didn't stop there.

He hired a law firm to dig through the past and see if there was any collusion between the Miami Big 3 before 2010.

Mohammed Al-Fayed, Fulham FC

He loves Michael Jackson so much that he put a creepy statue of the late pop star outside the team's London stadium.

Fayed then told fans who dislike the statue to 'go to hell.'

James Dolan, New York Knicks

The Cablevision and Knicks boss is often criticised for being irrationally loyal to failed GM Isiah Thomas.

But Dolan's eccentricities aren't limited to basketball.

He fronts a band called JD & The Straight Shot -- playing tunes such as 'Fix The Knicks.'

Jerry Richardson, Carolina Panthers

Richardson got pegged as the Big Bad Wolf during the NFL lockout.

Later, he made headlines for advising QB Cam Newton to not get any tattoos.

Roger Goodell also calls him 'The Big Cat,' which is weird.

Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts

Irsay runs one of the NFL's most consistent franchises.

In addition, he operates an awesome Twitter account that's entertaining, informative, and unintelligable all at once.

Michael Jordan, Charlotte Bobcats

Jordan is still in his early days as an owner.

But he's already been fined $100,000 by the league. And he routinely gets hammered for making bad trades, drafting bad players, and handing out bad contracts.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Manchester City

He has spent so much money that European soccer's governing body had to create a 'economic fair play' rule to prevent billionaires from treating their clubs like toys.

That's sway.

Mike Brown, Cincinnati Bengals

When you prompt a team blog to write an article titled 'Is Mike Brown Clinically Insane?' you might be doing something wrong.

Brown's latest controversy came this summer when he refused Carson Palmer's trade request and instead declared that the QB was retired.

WILD CARD: Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, New York Yankees

Have they shown the craziness of their father? No.

But they're still Steinbrenners.

And Hank has proved that he can get a little feisty, like when he criticised Derek Jeter for building a mansion last season.

Remember when owners weren't eccentric billionaires?

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