Ex-76ers minority owner Michael Rubin admits to ‘violating every rule the NBA had’

Ex-76ers minority owner Michael Rubin admits to 'violating every rule the NBA had' Philadelphia

USA Today Network

Former Philadelphia 76ers minority owner Michael Rubin said he feels “much more connected” to sports now that he is no longer part of the Sixers’ ownership group.

Speaking at the MIT Sloan Conference Friday morning, Rubin joked that he was “violating every rule the NBA had” as a co-owner of the iconic franchise. Taking bets was one of the issues.

Rubin, 51, is the founder and CEO of Fanatics, an online retailer and sports betting platform. The billionaire served as a minority owner of the 76ers while he worked to expand his brand.

“If you look through the rules of the leagues, it didn’t work for me to own part of a team,” Rubin said. “It was holding back Fanatics. It was a great privilege and honor to be a part of. … I learned a lot.

“I got a lot of great experience, and it was definitely time for me to move on. Now, I feel like I sit at the center of sports, technology, and business. I have the funnest job on the planet; I love doing it. I wake up every morning excited to jump out of bed and think about the 18,000 things that are about to come at me.”

Former Philadelphia 76ers minority owner Michael Rubin said the Sixers’ ownership group failed

Rubin was a member of the investment group that won a $280 million bid for the Sixers led by Josh Harris and David Blitzer. The NBA formally approved the deal on Oct. 13, 2011.

In June 2022, Rubin sold his stakes in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the holding company of both, to David J. Adelman due to a conflict of interest regarding sports betting and player partnerships.

Reflecting on his years spent with the Sixers, Rubin thought the ownership group failed because the team never won an NBA title during his tenure.

“We failed,” Rubin said. “We never won a championship. If you own a sports team and you don’t win a championship, you fail each year. That’s your job is to win a championship.”

The 76ers haven’t won a championship since sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1983 NBA Finals.

Philadelphia has made 23 playoff appearances since then, including a trip in 2001, when the club lost in five games to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

Rubin previously founded GSI Commerce in 1998 and later sold it to eBay for $2.4 billion in 2011. He also serves as a board member for Rue Gilt Groupe, which includes RueLaLa.com, Gilt.com, and ShopPremiumOutlets.com.