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Published: Thursday October 20, 2011 MYT 1:44:00 PM
Updated: Thursday October 20, 2011 MYT 1:45:05 PM

Indonesian businessman first Asian to own NBA team

JAKARTA: Indonesian media mogul Erick Tohir has joined the ranks of Asians owning a stake in foreign sports clubs.

He was officially named one of the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, following the approval of the United States National Basketball Association's board of directors, according to the Jakarta Post.

Although a slew of Asian businessmen have bought into English League clubs recently, including Air Asia chief Tan Sri Tony Fernandes (Queens Park Rangers) and Berjaya Group's Tan Sri Vincent Tan (Cardiff City Football Club) as well as Carson Yeung of Hong Kong (Birmingham City Football Club), Erick owns the distinction of being the first Asian owner of an NBA team.

Erick is the current president of the South East Asian Basketball Association (SEABA).

His most recent acquisition may foreshadow more involvement of NBA teams in the region.

Among the lengthy list of the Sixers' new owners and investors are co-managing owner David Blitzer, former NBA player agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien, GSI Commerce CEO Michael Rubin, real estate investors, film producers, and Hollywood power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

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