The billionaire owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks are as sharp-elbowed as the NBA teams’ players — and that’s not all they’ve got in common.
Buyout king Josh Harris, who bought the Sixers in 2011, is tied at a game a piece in the second-round, best-of-seven playoff series against his fellow private-equity mogul Antony Ressler, who scooped up the Hawks in 2015.
What’s lesser known is that both financiers are alumni of Michael Milken’s Drexel Burnham Lambert, and both went on — along with billionaire Leon Black — to co-found the giant buyout firm Apollo Global Management in 1990.
Ressler left Apollo in 2002 to form the buyout firm Ares Management. Black, meanwhile, announced his surprise exit in March amid growing controversy over his business ties to dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Harris wasn’t far behind, having lost a race to succeed Black at the helm of Apollo to co-founder Marc Rowan. That was after reports that Harris had urged Black to step down over his Epstein ties.
Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler co-founded Apollo Global Management along with his NBA playoff rival owner Josh Harris years before both men entered the sports business. Getty Images
While tensions between Harris and Black