Who Is Josh Harris? What Is His Sports Ownership Journey?

Daniel Snyder, who purchased Washington’s NFL franchise in 1999, is finally selling the team. According to league insiders, Snyder is nearing a deal to sell the Commanders for $6.05 billion to an investment group fronted by businessman Josh Harris, after first purchasing the team for $800 million.

Among Harris’ associates are businessman Mitchell Rales and NBA icon Magic Johnson. Here’s what you should know about Harris, 58, who has a long history in professional athletics.

What Is Harris’ Backstory?

Before owning the Commanders, Harris owned several sports franchises, none of which were in his hometown of Washington, D.C. Harris grew up in Chevy Chase, Md.

Who Is Josh Harris

Harris made his money in private equity after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and Harvard Business School. In 1990, he co-founded Apollo Global Management. According to Forbes, he is worth $5.9 billion.

In 2021, Harris revealed that he would leave his day-to-day role at the corporation to pursue other interests, including sports ownership.

What Is His Involvement In Sports?

Harris’ first sports purchase, the Philadelphia 76ers, is famous. In 2011, his investment group bought the Sixers for $280 million. David Blitzer, a Wharton-educated private equity investor, is Harris’ other key sports owner.

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment is their sports holding firm. The corporation owns the Sixers, Devils, and Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Harris led an intriguing Sixers period. He authorized then-general manager Sam Hinkie to implement “The Process,” a thorough teardown that resulted in a 47-199 record in three seasons. Joel Embiid was the result. The Sixers will make their sixth straight playoff appearance but have never advanced past the second round.

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Harris built a new Sixers practice facility in Camden, N.J. The ownership group, which does not own the Wells Fargo Center, advocates for a downtown Philadelphia arena. The arena should be finished when the Sixers’ Wells Fargo Center lease expires in 2031.

Harris is aggressively pursuing sports franchises. He owns part of Crystal Palace F.C. but wants more in soccer. Harris and Blitzer lost to Todd Boehly’s consortium in 2022’s Chelsea F.C. bid.

Harris unsuccessfully bid for the 2020 New York Mets. Harris owns a minority investment in the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Like soccer, he aims high. He lost against Rob Walton’s Denver Broncos bid in 2022.

How Has Harris Run The 76ers?

Harris is involved but rarely makes personnel changes. Harris, a New Yorker, attends Sixers games. Harris wants a general manager to justify moves.

“We have a whole process around where the people that actually directly report to me kind of talk about what they’re trying to accomplish and how they’re trying to accomplish it, and then you just go back through all that,” Harris said in 2019.

In 2020, Harris hired Daryl Morey for the 76ers. NBA decision-makers include Morey.

Harris’ ownership of the Sixers has witnessed high turnover at all levels. If they don’t make the playoffs this season, turnover will increase.

Under Harris, the Sixers have struggled with draft picks, trades, and free agents. He has seen trade requests, holdouts, and basketball players forgetting how to shoot. Burner’s Twitter scandals forced him to replace a general manager.

Harris is new to the NFL but has unique experiences from heading the Sixers.

What About The Devils?

Harris and HBSE are more known to sports fans as the ownership group behind “The Process.” Still, the Devils have experienced a similar franchise renovation during Harris and Blitzer’s term as managing partners. The Devils now boast the sport’s top young talent.

While the team was rebuilding, one source told me that Ray Shero had to explain to his bosses multiple times why it wasn’t time to pursue a star player in a trade or free agency because he needed more time to rebuild the foundation.

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However, after the young core was in place, current GM Tom Fitzgerald has frequently complimented Harris and Blitzer for their dedication to constructing a champion, including green-lighting big moves to add talents Timo Meier (through trade at the deadline) and Dougie Hamilton (in free agency in 2021).

Where Else Have We Seen Harris’ Influence?

Since I started following the Devils in March 2018, their managing partners have consistently received excellent grades for approving staff enhancements and investing in various off-ice areas.

Tyler Dellow, a top NHL analytics expert since the statistical revolution in sports, was hired to run a rebuilt and expanded analytics department. While rebuilding, the Devils invested in various off-ice departments. Dellow said HBSE appealed to him when he was hired.

The Devils’ hiring procedure and selection of Dellow and Matt Cane as leaders are also noteworthy. Harris and Co. relied on the 76ers’ NBA-leading analytics department.

Dellow was initially contacted by Sixers executive vice president of basketball operations Alex Rucker. Cross-franchise and cross-sport ties could be beneficial in the right hands.


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