Mat Ishbia, president and chief executive of United Wholesale Mortgage. Photo courtesy of UWM
Why it matters: Ishbia joins a suddenly long list of NBA owners with local ties — Dan Gilbert (Cavaliers), Tom Gores (Pistons), Steve Ballmer (Clippers) and the DeVos family (Magic).
- Ishbia’s addition could help get the NBA All-Star game to Detroit for the first time since 1959 (the Pontiac Silverdome hosted in 1979).
Driving the news: The former MSU basketball walk-on is expected to pay about $4 billion for the Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, the highest-ever purchase price for an NBA team.
What they’re saying: “It would 100% make sense for Detroit to put themselves forward for hosting an All-Star game,” Lisa Delpy Neirotti, sports management expert at George Washington University, tells Axios.
- “They should have the support now with all the ownerships. I see that as a real positive for Detroit.”
The intrigue: Ishbia often credits lessons from MSU coach Tom Izzo for the success of his company, Pontiac-based United Wholesale Mortgage.
Between the lines: Whether intentional or not, Ishbia’s career is starting to look a lot like mortgage rival and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.
What’s next: Ishbia’s background will be checked and the league’s board of governors must approve the purchase before he takes over.
- Those processes are expected to be a formality, ESPN reports.