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Can new NBA owners outsmart the system?

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The NBA has had a recent influx of aggressive new owners, largely from the tech business. They are famous for their desire to find a way to game any system -- but can the Sacramento Kings really be the platform to do that?

Paul Allen Trail Blazers, Mark Cuban Mavericks, Joe Lacob's Warriors, Steve Ballmer Clippers...

And now Vivek Ranadive Kings. Yes, he's got the platform.

The NBA is just a plaything for billionaire techies. 

Ted Leonsis of the Wizards and the owner of the Grizz are also techies.

Are their egos as big as the others'?

FLANNERY: What I think we're seeing is a bunch of new-money owners who are bringing their business practices with them to the league. Some of that may be positive; you'd have a hard time convincing me a guy like Cuban is bad for the NBA. Like all rich guys, they want to have fun with their new toys just like the "sportsmen" of old wanted. In any era, there will be good owners who hire smart people and let them do their jobs. There will be owners who think they can spend their way to a title and there will be cheap owners looking to wring every last cent out of the enterprise. There will also be owners who think they know best, and many times they don't.

Ranadive's timeframe confuses me. I imagine Kings fans are thrilled that he saved the team and is getting a new arena built. He's got DeMarcus. Why not trade off that goodwill and build patiently to have a potential powerhouse in place when they move into the new building?

ZILLER: Your point about persistent egotism is well-taken; we should all remember that the ruling class is forever enamored of its own prowess. I think that's the issue with Vivek here, too. He could be patient and pragmatic and sane. But he went from $50 in his pocket to founder of a billion-dollar company. He took a group of overmatched 12-year-olds to a championship game. He believes in his ability to outsmart everyone, which carries with it a belief that the system is ripe to be outsmarted.

Funny enough: that's probably what made Vivek hire Malone in such rash fashion in 2013. The normal path -- hire a GM who hires a coach -- was too Basketball 2.0 for the league's next great innovator.

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