Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Become Philadelphia 76ers Minority Owners

As we all know Will Smith is from “West Philadelphia, born and raised” and now the rapper cum Hollywood superstar and his wife Jada Pinkett are expanding their entertainment empire to include partial ownership of Will’s hometown team, the Philadelphia 76ers.

Will Smith had expressed interest in owning a piece of the team back in 2006 but now billionaire Joshua Harris of  the private equity group Apollo Global Management has helped that dream become a reality. Harris  and a group of investors including the Smiths announced that they had  purchased the team from Comcast-Spectacor on Tuesday at a press conference in Philadelphia.  The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that the new owners paid approximately $280 million for the team.

The news comes as the dispute between players and owners has resulted in a lockout that has already caused NBA comissioner David Stern to cancel the first two weeks of the 2011-2012 season.

Of course the Smiths aren’t the first team owners with ties to hip-hop; Usher, Nelly and most notably Jay-Z all have all had minority ownership stakes in the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Charlotte Bobcats and the newly rechristened Brrooklyn Nets respectively.

The Smiths aren’t the only basketball owners with minority stakes in a basketball team as Jay-Z owns a small piece of the newly re-christened Brooklyn Nets.