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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

For N.B.A. Owners, the Money\'s on Romney


President Obama may have a better jump shot than his Republican rival for president, but N.B.A. owners seem more eager to offer Mitt Romney the bigger contract.

Eight of the 10 N.B.A. owners who have made contributions to the candidates' campaigns so far have donated to Mr. Romney's campaign, for a total $49,000, according to a list published by the basketball website hoopshype.com. (The list includes only contributions to candidate's campaigns and not “super PACs” or other committees.)

The two owners who donated to Mr. Obama's campaign, Ted Leonsis of the Washington Wizards and Johnny Bush of the Los Angeles Lakers, gave a total of only $6,100.

While the shift towards Mr. Romney seems surprising given Mr. Obama's love of the game, it falls in line with owners of professional sports teams in other leagues. In a study last year, the Center for Responsive Politics found that two-thirds of political donations from N.F.L. owners went to the Republican party, candidates and committees. And a recent article by WNYC found that owners of teams in the four major sports donated $1.25 million to Republicans and $750,000 to Democrats.

N.B.A. players and coaches, meanwhile, continue to support Mr. Obama, as many did in 2008. Three players (Baron Davis, Vince Carter and Grant Hill) and six coaches donated to Mr. Obama's re-election campaign, while none opted to support Mr. Romney's campaign.

Former and current basketball stars are also supporting the president's campaign by hosting fundraisers and other events. The Obama campaign recently announced the “Obama Classic,” which will feature former stars such as Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning and current N.B.A. players Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving.

In February, Mr. Carter hosted a $30,000-a-plate dinner for Mr. Obama at his home in Florida.