Howard Schultz On Owning The Sonics: ‘It Was a Nightmare’

Here’s a shocker: Starbucks CEO says owning a pro sports team wasn’t his cup of tea (or coffee).

Of course, Sonics fans could have told you as much. Schultz owned Seattle’s former pro basketball team for five years, before selling the Sonics to Clay Bennett in 2008 ... setting the stage for the NBA heartbreak that we all know too well.

Appearing on CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight late last week, Schultz discussed his tenure as Sonics owner:

Schultz, who went to college on a football scholarship, said the culture of professional sports ownership just wasn’t for him.

“Buying an NBA team was a dream that I never thought would be possible for someone like me,” Schultz told George. “But it also turned out to be a nightmare. It was not the right thing for me at that time of my life and I just thought the culture of professional sports and athletes who were making that much money, it was just inconsistent with my ability to kind of alter the mentality and I just got out. I tried to sell it to a local person in Seattle. Nobody wanted to buy it. We ended up selling it to someone from Oklahoma and he ended up moving the team. They’ve got a great team now.”

Schultz also told Stroumboulopoulos that leading a business where young men often without “the right support staff” are making millions of dollars, and sometimes lacking in proper motivation, “was just inconsistent with my value system.”

In other words, Schultz sucked as an owner, but it wasn’t all him. It was those damn millionaire kids that he just couldn’t motivate the same way as a minimum wage barista.

Got it ...

 
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